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Israeli PM temporarily survives political crisis
Latest Updated by 2007-05-08 09:15:39
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The Israeli Knesset (parliament) on Monday evening rejected three non-confidence motions against the coalition government led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

During the votes held in the Knesset, the coalition won a landslide victory with over half Knesset Members (MK) voted against the motions, and only about a quarter voted in favor and nine abstained.

During the Knesset session, the opposition leader and Chairman of the Likud party Binyamin Netanyahu urged Olmert and his government to resign, according to the report.

"All the people are saying one simple thing: you have failed, take responsibility, go home." Netanyahu was quoted as saying, referring to the harsh criticism against Olmert sparked by a war-probing report.

Following the coalition's victory in the Knesset, it seems that Olmert, who is under pressure of resignation, has temporarily survived the political crisis sparked by a war-probing report.

In addition to the victory in the Knesset, Olmert also regained the support from Foreign Minister and heavyweight in his Kadima party Tzipi Livni, despite the latter has called on Olmert to resign.

On Sunday, Olmert and Livni held their first meeting since tensions broke out between the two last week to "clear the air".

During the meeting, the two agreed that they would "continue to work together as part of the government headed by Ehud Olmert", which means Kadima is again under Olmert's control.

On April 30, a government-appointed committee charged with the task of probing the Israeli leader's handling of last summer's conflict with Hezbollah released its interim report, which harshly criticized Olmert of failing in his role in the war.

Following the release of the report, Olmert was under grave pressure that called on him to resign, but the prime minister insisted that he would not step down but rather to stay on to remedy the severe flaws in decision-making and crisis management.

On Wednesday, Olmert suffered from another major blow from Livni, as the latter said at a press conference after the two's hour-long meeting that she has already told Olmert that his resignation is the right thing to do.

Although Olmert has managed to survive being ousted for the moment, he still faces a series of tests in the coming months.

The Labor party, Kadima's most important coalition partner, is set to hold its leadership primary later this month.

Former prime minister Ehud Barak, a leading contender for the Labor Party leadership, has reportedly told his associates Sunday that in light of the Winograd report, he does not believe he could sit in a government headed by Olmert.

If the Labor withdraw from the coalition, Olmert's government would be put in the jeopardy of collapse.

Moreover, Olmert is also expected to face criticism from the war-probing committee's final report, which is scheduled to be released in August.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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