A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
May 29, 2008 Counting Down the end of Olmert Premiership
It is clear that the end of the political career of Ehud Olmert is now just a matter of time. It appears that time frame is somewhere between six weeks and the end of the year. Today Foreign Minister Tzpi Livni called for Kadima to hold primary elections. Livni's call, which is supported by all the key figures of Kadima, provides a semi- elegant way out for Olmert. If primary elections are held and Olmert does not run, then he can remain in power through the primaries and the regualar elections and even through the period it takes to form a new government. During that time whatever actions he takes, whether attacking Gaza or negotiating, he will be immune from the charges that he just trying to obtain an election advantage. All bets are off, however, if Olmert is indicted.
The Attorney General has, in fact, ordered the investigation process of Olmert sped up. The investigations center on the period around 2005, a year when there was no elections going on, so that any attempt to claim the money received was for election financing will be a hollow claim. It is expected that within six weeks a decision will be made on whether to indict Olmert.So now it's just a matter of time. Either Olmert will be indicted within six weeks, and that will be the end of his premiership or there will be new elections around November and his premiership will come to an end shortly thereafter.
For those who thought that Lebanon was in for a period of peace after the recent peace conference in Doaha... Well they were wrong. It seems that the agreement was merely an "Al Jezeera moment" and now the sides can get back to fighting one another. Much to the surprise of many, especially Hezbollah,Fouad Siniora was reappointed Lebanon's premier. In his acceptance speech, Siniora strongly criticized Hezbollah for its actions in attacking Sunni neighborhoods in Beirut early this month and called for the disarming of Hezbollah.