Israelis: Olmert Successor Is Unlikely to Forge Coalition

Netanyahu calls for snap elections
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2008 10:18 AM CDT
Tzipi Livni, center, is seeking to succeed Ehud Olmert, right, as Israel's prime minister.   (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)
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(Newser) – Benjamin Netanyahu has called for a snap election after Ehud Olmert's sudden announcement that he will resign as Israel's PM. Riding high in the polls, the head of Likud said that "it doesn't matter who heads Kadima. They are all partners in this government's total failure." The call comes as members of the ruling party admitted to Haaretz that Olmert's successor might never take the top job.

The new party leader will not automatically become PM, but must form a new government from scratch. And whoever succeeds Olmert as head of Kadima—most probably Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister—will have difficulty forming a new coaltion. Ehud Barak, the defense minister and Labor Party leader, told CNN that his party may not join with Kadima again, triggering a new national election. (Read more Ehud Olmert stories.)