Jerusalem - Former Israeli PM Olmert Will Not Run In Election
Jerusalem - Former Israeli leader Ehud Olmert put an end to weeks of political suspense on Thursday with a decision not to run against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January’s election.
The centrist Olmert had been mulling a political comeback since October, when Netanyahu called the election after his government failed to agree on the 2013 budget.
“He is not running,” his aide, Yanki Galanti, told Reuters.
Olmert, 67, was forced to quit as prime minister in 2008 over corruption charges of which he was largely acquitted this year. He is internationally credited for pursuing peace with the Palestinians.
Right-wing Netanyahu, who polls predict will win the ballot, has come under international pressure in the past week after his government announced plans to expand Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and in the occupied West Bank, territory the Palestinians want for a future state.
Israeli commentators were divided on whether an Olmert candidacy would have helped to unite an already splintered centre-left opposition, or would have further fractured the bloc.
More of today's headlines“Brooklyn, NY - Almost one year to the day after an Israeli court granted an appeal delaying the extradition of former Crown Heights resident Yitzchak Shuchat to the...” Jerusalem - Israeli Court: Crown Heights Shmira Member To Be Extradited To The US To Face Charges “Washington - President Barack Obama has met with New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie at the White House. Christie is in Washington Thursday to talk about aid to...” Washington - Obama, Christie Meet At The White House To Discuss Superstorm Aid