Olmert 'may quit over scandal'

Israeli prime minister expected to step down amid probe into bribery charges.

    Some sources say Olmert could be replaced
    by foreign minister Livni

    Al-Umari said Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, may assume the post of prime minister until the investigation is completed.
     
    "The [foreign] minister will replace him and can keep the job for 100 days. After that the president of Israel nominates people to form a new government by preparing for elections," said al-Umari. 
     
    House arrest
     
    Early elections could be held possibly in November to choose a new prime minister.
     
    In depth



    Profile: Tzipi Livni



    In video: Olmert faces investigation over conduct

    Police have interrogated Shula Zaken, a director in Olmert's office, for the fourth time. She is currently under house arrest, al-Umari said.
     
    "It seems that Olmert is in a very embarrassing situation. Stepping down is now a matter of time."
     
    The Israeli media have not reported the latest developments in the case, but The New York Post newspaper has carried a story on the alleged bribery scandal, al-Umari said.
     
    Some sources believe that Olmert is being targeted by a right-wing religious group which used to back him when he was with the Likud party as a right-wing activist.
     
    This group, they say, is believed to be pursuing the case in view of possible progress in negotiations with the Palestinians, al-Umari said.

    SOURCE: AJ Jazeera


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