World Watch: Isreali Prime Minister Resigns

By Kelly Adams

The Resignation of South African President Thabo Mbeki on 21 September 2008 eclipsed the resignation of Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert.Olmert formally submitted his resignation after being in office for 33 months. President Shimon Peres commented during a meeting with the media that “the safety of the State of Israel and the welfare of its citizens were central to his actions as prime minister”. He continued by thanking Olmert “for his service to the people and the state over the course of many years of public activities”. Olmert had previously promised Israel that he would resign, due to his pending corruption charges after the Kadima party’s primary election. He could, however, stay in office as caretaker prime minister for as long as it takes until a new coalition government is formed or a new parliamentary election held.Olmert was replaced by Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni as leader of the ruling Kadima party in an internal election on Wednesday, raising her chances of becoming Israel’s first woman prime minister since Golda Meir in the 1970s. She has also been put in charge of forming the new government. The ongoing political uncertainty has dimmed prospects of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

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