Olmert resigns. Sort of…

Eliana Aponte/AFP

Olmert announcing his resignation. Credit: Eliana Aponte/AFP

Ten weeks into a really icky, sordid criminal investigation, Mr. Ehud “Teflon” Olmert actually decided to resign. Mais pourquoi? Check out my piece on the PJM site for possible motivation. Oh, and don’t get too excited. He’s not leaving yet…

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4 responses to “Olmert resigns. Sort of…

  1. tick, tock, tick, tock…

  2. Lasloosa,
    great article.. If you allow me to (humbly) add

    He wanted to get sympathy and postpone criticism.

    He had already promised to resign if indicted, and there were rumours that it was a matter of a month or so before he was to be charged, so he enabled himself to get out of that promise, by making this big show of another one, seemingly accepting the will of the people, etc. but actually nullifying the former promise.

    Furthermore, there was an appeal to the Supreme court that was to be decided upon shortly, demanding him to suspend himself on the grounds of being unable to devote himself to matters of state right now, so this proclamation pre-empts that too.

    Finally, practically speaking, even if a new chairman for Kadima is chosen on Sept. 17, that person might not be able to establish a government and Olmert could remain as head of a transitory one.

  3. im pretty sure he’s cooked.. but then again stranger things have happened.. like bush being re-elected..

    so you never know..

    שבוע טוב

  4. I’m not sure if this premature (yet aborted) departure was a good idea. Perhaps he was indeed seeking sympathy, but when someone says that “I’M RESIGNINGbut will stick around for a few weeks” — people will only hear the first part of the sentence. I think he’ll be de facto cast aside as the ‘outgoing’ Prime Minister despite the face that he’s still there…

    Unless he was attempting to reduce the lightspots on him by pretending to step down?

    My guess would be that some more of that corruption iceberg has surfaced, and *someone* has effectively squeezed Olmert’s cojones into resigning.

    As for ‘filling the political vacuum’, i think that in light of the absence of someone who’s clearly superior or has a lot of popular support (both concepts being often totally disconnected) I feel the political bargaining will lead to the (s)election of someone that will make everyone equally unhappy, a la European Union treaties 🙂

    My personal choice would’ve been Livni but I think I’ll put my (depreciating) shekels on Dichter.

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