A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
July 30, 2008- Olmert resigns … sort of
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced tonight that he was going to resign after Kadima holds its primary elections on September 17th. He further stated he will not run in the primary, and will not intervene in it in any way. Whether Olmert’s tenure as Prime Minister ends on that day is very much in question. When Olmert resigns it will be up to his successor to create a new coalition. Olmert’s successor will have until October 29th to form a new government. After October 29th, the President can give the government an extension of an additional 90 days to attempt to successfully build a coalition. During that whole time Olmert will remain Prime Minister. He can of course choose to do what Rabin did in 1976 and go on vacation, allowing the newly elected head of Kadima to be the acting Prime Minister.
Four people are running to be the new head of Kadima: Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Transportation Minister/former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Housing Minister Meir Shitreet and Minister of Internal Security Avi Dichter. The two considered most likely to win are Livni and Mofaz. Mofaz will say he is the most likely to be able to create an alternative coalition. He is to the right, Sephardic and willing to compromise with Shas over payments of child support. Livni, on the other hand, will contend she is by far more popular with the public and has the best chance to secure more mandates and lead Kadima to victory in the an election.– An interesting choice. Of course one has to ask: “who was the Defense Minister before Amir Peretz, and who was at least partially responsible for the sorry state of the IDF when the Second Lebanon war began?