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Officials say Olmert not for stepping down

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Officials say Olmert not for stepping down


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has reportedly told his Kadima Party at a closed-door meeting that he will not resign. The comments come despite mounting pressure on him to step down, following a rebuke from an official inquiry blaming him for failures in handling last year’s war in Lebanon.

His deputy and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said she met with Olmert and told him resigning was the right thing to do.

She said she would seek to take over as the leader of the ruling Kadima Party.

Livni said she believed new leadership would restore public trust in the government.

Kadima’s faction leader has now also threatened to hand in his notice, if Olmert does not go.

Aides to Defence Minister Amir Peretz, also criticised by the report, told Israeli Army Radio he was considering stepping down.

On Tuesday, Cabinet Minister Eitan Cabel was the first member of Olmert’s government to resign over the report.

A member of coalition partner the Labour Party said he could not sit in a government headed by Ehud Olmert.

But Olmert insists he will fix all mistakes.

Officials said Israel’s cabinet approved his plans to appoint a committee overseeing changes recommended by the inquiry.

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