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Israeli foreign minister calls on Olmert to resign

Israeli foreign minister calls on Olmert to resign

Israel's popular foreign minister on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign and said she would challenge him for leadership of the ruling Kadima Party _ the highest-ranking official to call for his ouster in the wake of a harsh report about his performance during last year's war in Lebanon.
The comments by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni dealt a tough blow to Olmert, who has been working feverishly to retain his hold on power since the report's release on Monday. Livni is Olmert's biggest rival in Kadima and enjoys wide popularity with the general public.
Livni, who had remained conspicuously quiet since the report came out, met with Olmert on Wednesday afternoon.
"I told him that resignation would be the right thing for him to do," she told reporters.
Livni said she would remain in government "to ensure that improvements are carried out."
She said she believed the current ruling coalition could remain in power without holding new elections. Under Israel's parliamentary system, Kadima could switch its leader without losing power. Livni would be the front-runner to replace Olmert.
But she said when Kadima holds its party primary, she would run for the leadership. A date for a primary vote has not yet been set.
"It's not a personal matter between me and the prime minister _ this issue is more important than both of us," Livni said.


Updated : 2020-12-01 10:05 GMT+08:00