Labor Decides To Put an End to Olmert Gov't

The Labor party has decided by a near unamimous vote to side with the Opposition and put an end to the Olmert administration.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,

The Labor party caucus decided Monday afternoon to back party chairman Ehud Barak and vote against the government Wednesday on a bill to dissolve the government. The decision effectively is the last nail in the coffin for the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Three Labor Knesset Members, Education Minister Yuli Tamir (Labor) and MKs Amir Peretz and Yoram Marciano did not vote on the caucus decision. The bill, sponsored by Likud MK Silvan Shalom, has the backing of the other key coalition party, Shas, as well as Opposition parties.

Prime Minister Olmert warned at the Cabinet meeting on Sunday that he will fire any ministers who vote against the government. Labor chairman and Defense Minister Barak had given the Prime Minister a June 25 deadline to step down or face a majority vote for dissolution.

If Prime Minister Olmert fires the ministers, the next move could be a no-confidence motion that would force elections. The dissolution bill allows for the formulation of a new government without elections.

Labor Agriculture Minister Shalom Simchon said he is considering quitting the Cabinet before Wednesday's vote.

June 25 is the second anniversary of the cross-border raid carried out by Hamas terrorists at the Kerem Shalom Crossing in which two IDF soldiers were killed and Cpl. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. Shalit remains in captivity.





top