It looks like Olmert's understanding when the time comes...
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is likely to initiate the end of his political career on Wednesday when he is expected to give the authorization necessary for a primary in Kadima to replace him.Goodbye to Olmert, I say.
Olmert had intended to defy political pressure and continue to try to stall the process of ending his premiership, but sources close to him said Tuesday that he now had no choice but to cooperate. The prime minister will reveal his decision Wednesday afternoon in a meeting with the head of Kadima's steering committee, MK Tzahi Hanegbi, and coalition chairman Eli Aflalo.
Officials in the Prime Minister's Office tried to downplay Olmert's decision, saying that they "don't expect him to say anything dramatic." Some Kadima MKs said they thought Olmert would still try to delay setting a date for the primary until after the July 17 cross-examination of American financier Morris Talansky and that the cancellation of a steering committee meeting set for Wednesday had "bought him time." But others said the prime minister realized there was no chance of waiting an entire month anymore.
"Olmert cannot and will not go against everyone," an MK who is a close confidant of the prime minister said. "If there is a consensus for initiating a primary, he won't stand in the way. He can't put on the brakes any more when there are enough forces in the party who want it to happen."
The apparent change of heart for Olmert happened after Public Security Minister Avi Dichter released a statement clarifying his opinion in favor of initiating a primary. His associates said Hanegbi had misinterpreted him when he told the press last week that he was against starting the primary process before Talansky's cross-examination.
"The primary should be no later than the beginning of September," Dichter told Hanegbi on Tuesday. "The date for the primary should be decided by July."