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Last update - 10:35 31/07/2008
Olmert to step down in September, vows to push for peace first
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service
Tags: Kadima, Ehud Olmert, Israel 

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday that he has decided not to contend in the Kadima primary election and would resign as soon as the new party leader was chosen, due to the criminal investigations in which he has been embroiled in recent months.

"I have decided I won't run in the Kadima movement primaries, nor do I intend to intervene in the elections," Olmert said in an official statement to the public
from his residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening.
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"When a new [Kadima party] chairman is chosen, I will resign as prime minister to permit them to put together a new government swiftly and effectively," he added.

The prime minister has been under official investigation in recent months over allegations of corruption in his former capacities as Jerusalem mayor and trade minister.

Political sources had expected Olmert to announce that he would not run in upcoming leadership contest in his Kadima party, scheduled for September 17. This decision in effect signals an end to Olmert's political career.

Olmert began the address by saying that despite having been beset by investigations during his tenure, he has improved the situation in Israel and continues to believe that peace is the most important track for the country.

The prime minister went on to say that as long as he was in power, he would work toward this goal of peace.

"I am proud to be the prime minister of a country that investigates its prime ministers," he said. "The prime minister is not above the law, but he is in no way below it."


The two most prominent investigations involve suspicions that Olmert took bribes from American businessman Morris Talansky, and charges he submitted duplicate claims for travel expenses which he allegedly used to fund family trips abroad. He has denied wrongdoing, but said he would resign if indicted.

Olmert's announcement comes a day after Kadima said it had scheduled its leadership vote.

The prime minister's advisers in recent days have split into two groups: those who expect him to continue in his position and resign only if indicted, and those who have been urging him not to run in the primary elections and conclude his term with an air of respect.

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      1.   Left and Right still need Olmert 18:15  |  IsraFan 30/07/08
      2.   His adress will be hes Quiting and Naming Mofaz as PM............ 18:20  |  MOE 30/07/08
      3.   After a very bad start Olmert is finding his way 18:25  |  Natallie Durson 30/07/08
      4.   Olmert - NO MORE SURPRISES - JUST RESIGN 18:30  |  * BEN JABO 30/07/08
      5.   Miracles can happen 18:39  |  Shimon Cleopas 30/07/08
      6.   Nasrallah is not quitting 18:41  |  Aounist 30/07/08
      7.   If it`s that he`s quitting immediately,... 18:49  |  Jason 30/07/08
      8.   Without vision, the people perish 19:03  |  Londoner 30/07/08
      9.   Maybe 19:14  |  Pinchas 30/07/08
      10.   Livni 19:18  |  Pinchas 30/07/08
      11.   A lame duck Olmert ... 19:18  |  Morris Valentine 30/07/08
      12.   #6 Aounist - Nasrallah doesn`t quite, HE HIDES 19:24  |  * BEN JABO 30/07/08
      13.   Shock and Oh! 19:31  |  Shimon Cleopas 30/07/08
      14.   olmerts big surprise announcement 19:37  |  yahn goodey 30/07/08
      15.   Surprise, surprise 19:53  |  Shimon Cleopas 30/07/08
      16.   He will resign and convert to Islam 20:00  |  Fairy 30/07/08
      17.   Finally? Or will he try another of his despicable "tricks?" 20:04  |  bat yam 30/07/08
      18.   Leaving while there is still cash around? 20:20  |  Gideon Reader 30/07/08
      19.   We need parties willing to take an oath 20:21  |  Arie 30/07/08
      20.   its what he is going to do before then we need to worry about 20:28  |  zionist forever 30/07/08
      21.   Time to leave the PM office, Olmert 20:41  |  Eric Voogd 30/07/08
      22.   There Is A God! 20:45  |  Jeff Northridge 30/07/08
      23.   Say Thanks to the Man. Case study is needed and you have time to 20:46  |  Simon Mohammed 30/07/08
      24.   Tenure was a national tragedy 20:48  |  Nathaniel 30/07/08
      25.   Weak puppet....I mean Aounist 20:50  |  Matti 30/07/08
      26.   Well, not too happy with this outcome, but wonder... 20:54  |  Smadar 30/07/08
      27.   To #1 IsraFan - Even Assad refused to take his hand.... 21:06  |  Dagma 30/07/08
      28.   good ridance,and take KADIMA with you 21:14  |  chaim 30/07/08
      29.   Israel compare to UK 21:20  |  tomer 30/07/08
      30.   It doesn`t matter who we pick now... 21:29  |  Dave 30/07/08
      31.   The Next Prime Minister 21:34  |  Shimon Cleopas 30/07/08
      32.   Ruling Israel is`t for the wimp and corrupted good riddance 21:42  |  Simon 30/07/08
      33.   The time has come for TZIPI LIVNI!!! 21:45  |  efman 30/07/08
      34.   #26 - he can`t do anything without the Knesset - he is not a king 21:55  |  redmike 30/07/08
      35.   I`ll quit as PM 21:57  |  Ralph 30/07/08
      36.   Finally, Just Not Soon Enough 22:20  |  Ron 30/07/08
      37.   Note the symbolism... 22:25  |  Smadar 30/07/08
      38.   Homework 22:27  |  Shimon Cleopas 30/07/08
      39.   cancel all agreements 22:28  |  vik 30/07/08
      40.   Morris Valentine # 11 I Don`t Think So 22:28  |  Jeff Northridge 30/07/08
      41.   after clinging on by his fingertips olmerde slips to oblivion 22:34  |  victor hardman 30/07/08
      42.   Natallie 22:36  |  eva 30/07/08
      43.   Saniora should be next so he can join his other Half (olmert) 22:36  |  US person 30/07/08
      44.   He will work for "peace" - Israel Watch Out ! 22:38  |  Tod Zuckerman 30/07/08
      45.   Kadima party want to impose a PM again !! 22:40  |  Freddy 30/07/08
      46.   Olmert 22:52  |  Daisy 30/07/08
      47.   When terrorism becomes convenient for Olmert 23:04  |  Joseph.E Post 3 30/07/08
      48.   To efman (#31) 23:11  |  Morris Valentine 30/07/08
      49.   No reason to be thankful to Olmert (Smadar #26) 23:12  |  Tosefta 30/07/08
      50.   Olmert?s Greek?s Sphings consultation? 23:28  |  H.H.M. 30/07/08
      51.   TAKING OUT THE TRASH 23:39  |  Feeatlast 30/07/08
      52.   Say NO to "a replacement for the replacement!" 23:55  |  Yaakov K. 30/07/08
      53.   To #25 Matti: Najjad is still in power 23:57  |  Aounist 30/07/08
      54.   NOW WATCH THE PRIMARIES SLIDE FORWARD MONTH AFTER MONTH.. 00:21  |  Freethinker 31/07/08
      55.   All Kadima are painted with the Olmert brash. 00:42  |  Akram Zekaria 31/07/08
      56.   Don`t Forget to Shut the Door on YOur Way OUt! 00:49  |  J 31/07/08
      57.   Smadar: it will hardly affect the negotiations negatively - 01:04  |  ivo 31/07/08
      58.   It is clear,Tzipi Livni, is comming! 01:11  |  Sharif Hafez 31/07/08
      59.   Olmert can work at the Nixon Center 01:33  |  W 31/07/08
      60.   EXCELLENT SUMMARY AOUNIST#6 01:38  |  MOSHEH 31/07/08
      61.   Oh no! What will happen to the phony peace process? 01:43  |  (real)peacelover 31/07/08
      62.   #49 Tosefta Well then, many things still up in the air... 02:16  |  Smadar 31/07/08
      63.   Omert`s wrap-up 02:16  |  Patrick Warner 31/07/08
      64.   We need Rabins every day! 02:17  |  No To Natanyahu 31/07/08
      65.   A strange land. 02:32  |  Miransky 31/07/08
      66.   To #60 Mosheh: Lebanese is holding elections in 9 months 02:43  |  Aounist 31/07/08
      67.   DON`T STOP UNTIL JANUARY 2009 OLMERT PLEASE 02:43  |  indrajaya 31/07/08
      68.   Gonna be Mofaz..... 02:48  |  Johnboy 31/07/08
      69.   Olmert Couselors Failed To Keep Him In Office 02:53  |  Joseph.E 31/07/08
      70.   efman 03:36  |  mike 31/07/08
      71.   trash out 04:10  |  joseph levy 31/07/08
      72.   Olmert 04:14  |  Larry 54 31/07/08
      73.   The old joke.Moshiach won`t come, Olmert won`t go. 04:59  |  Toronto`s Finest 31/07/08
      74.   PM Olmert quitting 05:18  |  edda greenstein 31/07/08
      75.   Good morning Vietnam 05:55  |  Shimon Cleopas 31/07/08
      76.   Natallie Durson Women should not be seen nor 06:13  |  Freddy 31/07/08
      77.   But won`t Bibi be PM by mid-2009??? 06:39  |  Voice of Reason 31/07/08
      78.   Ready to meet The Next One? 07:03  |  Shimon Cleopas 31/07/08
      79.   A regular democratic change at the top is good. 07:20  |  Michael J 31/07/08
      80.   Hello Ben-Jabo. Olmerts ploy 07:29  |  Sarah 31/07/08
      81.   psha - yeah right... 07:40  |  Kalya 31/07/08
      82.   Wow, gets Livni!!! 07:58  |  Niva dos Santos 31/07/08
      83.   #69 joseph e his lawyers sunk him without trace 08:05  |  victor hardman 31/07/08
      84.   To Jeff Northridge (#40) 08:06  |  Morris Valentine 31/07/08
      85.   Olmert is disgusting 08:35  |  fred 31/07/08
      86.   he`ll continue killing children in Naalin 09:22  |  Ivan 31/07/08
      87.   Peace yes, keep Golani, no more terrorists released, no more..... 09:23  |  Leah 31/07/08
      88.   He should resign immediately 09:27  |  Moshe 31/07/08
      89.   When Hamas Regains Control of the PA... 09:31  |  Reader 31/07/08
      90.   Morris Valentine #48 I like your thinking about female looks 09:57  |  S 31/07/08
      91.   The land bill in the Knesset 10:17  |  Michael 31/07/08
      92.   AOUNIST#66, AN EXPERT IN DEMOCRACY… 10:29  |  MOSHEH 31/07/08
      93.   45: How dare democracy work, `eh Freddy? 10:37  |  David Teich 31/07/08
      94.   Livni by default 10:40  |  David Teich 31/07/08
      95.   INDRAJAYA#67 ON THE WAY OF DEMOCRACY KNOWLEDGE 10:48  |  MOSHEH 31/07/08
      96.   You can have Gordon Brown 12:01  |  AM 31/07/08
      97.   Sharon - Olmert - Livni 12:04  |  Misha 31/07/08
      98.   olmart 12:07  |  michael 31/07/08
      99.   To redmike # 34 - So Right! and thank you. 12:08  |  netta 31/07/08
      100.   Addendum to Efman #33 12:10  |  Esther 31/07/08
      101.   `PEACE` with Olmert means giving up Jewish land..... 12:14  |  Natasha 31/07/08
      102.   Olmert can VOW Anything but he forgets sometimes 12:27  |  Dolly 31/07/08
      103.   Prospects for progress in the remainder of Olmert`s term 14:13  |  Tosefta 31/07/08
      104.   #67 indrajaya - Don`t stop - Go out and help 15:16  |  * BEN JABO 31/07/08
      105.   Olmert`s resignation speech - English version 15:33  |  Libiu 31/07/08
      106.   test 15:53  |  test 31/07/08
      107.   Can anybody please? 16:32  |  Concerned 31/07/08
      108.   NEXT WEDNEZDAY AT 07.41 AM. HE WILL DIE OF AN HEART ATTACK. 16:41  |  BELOVED OLMERT. 31/07/08
      109.   # 88 Moshe Yes He Should Resign Now.Why The Delay? 16:41  |  KATHY 31/07/08
      110.   olmert to resign if kadima elects new leader? 17:03  |  yahn goodey 31/07/08
      111.   Maybe just Maybe 17:18  |  Danite 31/07/08
      112.   #68 JB .Don`t be too sure.Perhaps it Will Be. 17:20  |  KATHY 31/07/08
      113.   Urgent offer for exchanging Slowman 17:21  |  Beijing Zoo 31/07/08
      114.   # 104, BEN JABO 17:22  |  indrajaya 31/07/08
      115.   #76 Freddy..I agree About Women etc,etc. 17:31  |  KATHY 31/07/08
      116.   #6 Aounist Perhaps Nasrallah should come out of hiding 17:46  |  Big Sur 31/07/08
      117.   #76 Freddy, Natalie is hired by Iran to post in here 17:50  |  Big Sur 31/07/08
      118.   #114 Indrayaja just some information for you 17:57  |  Big Sur 31/07/08
      119.   #114 Indrajaya - All I know is that 17:57  |  * BEN JABO 31/07/08
      120.   #68 Johnboy Netanyahu is most likely next. 18:01  |  Big Sur 31/07/08
      121.   memo:jerusalem zoo to beijing zoo 18:05  |  records department 31/07/08
      122.   Good riddance 18:21  |  Saffer 31/07/08
      123.   #114 indrajaya..Well Your P.S Says It All Does It Not? 18:45  |  KATHY 31/07/08
      124.   To Tosefta (#103) 18:49  |  Morris Valentine 31/07/08
      125.   # 90 S.At last we can talk about really interesting issues! 18:53  |  Toronto`s Finest 31/07/08
      126.   # 123, KATHY 19:02  |  indrajaya 31/07/08
      127.   !23 Kathy reference Indryaja 126 You see the immaturity? 19:48  |  Big Sur 31/07/08
      128.   The problem with Bush (Morris Valentine #124) 19:58  |  Tosefta 31/07/08
      129.   The problem with Bush (Morris Valentine #124) 20:20  |  Tosefta 31/07/08
      130.   #126 Indrajaya..But think about the 9/11 and how.. 20:29  |  KATHY 31/07/08
      131.   #105 Liblu..I loved the way you presented your rhymed farewell 20:33  |  KATHY 31/07/08
      132.   # 118, BIG SUR 20:36  |  indrajaya 31/07/08
      133.   Thank God!! Good for Israel bad for arab terrorists! 22:11  |  Avram 31/07/08
      134.   #132 Indrayaja 22:34  |  Big Sur 31/07/08
      135.   In Case You do not comprehend still for all the Israel bashers 22:41  |  Big Sur 31/07/08
      136.   #103 Tosefta - Hope Olmert`s Kadima successor triumphs 22:42  |  Smadar 31/07/08
      137.   #136 smadar still has a problem with facts 23:30  |  victor hardman 31/07/08
      138.   Libiu beatiful job, now that`s translation for the court 23:39  |  Simon 31/07/08
      139.   In the US Cheney was ?gifted? millions by Halliburton 23:48  |  David Turner 31/07/08
      140.   THE LAND SHALL NOT BE SOLD IN PERPETUITY , FOR THE LAND IS MINE ? 01:37  |  BILL 01/08/08
      141.   Reality (Smadar #136) 03:14  |  Tosefta 01/08/08
      142.   #137 Victor Hardman Too many political parties... 03:29  |  Smadar 01/08/08
      143.   Reality (Smadar #136) 05:01  |  Tosefta 01/08/08
      144.   #141 Tosefta Perhaps misreading accomplishments 06:46  |  Smadar 01/08/08
      145.   120: Yes, Big Sur, but not for those reasons 14:09  |  David Teich 01/08/08
      146.   olmert 06:21  |  yitz 12/09/08
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