Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Conflicting rulings by two US courts cast shadow on future of Obamacare

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

Israelis losing faith in PM Olmert

Latest update : 2008-05-12

More than half of Israelis want Ehud Olmert to quit, according to an opinion poll published on Monday, with new allegations of bribery thrusting the beleaguered prime minister back into the corruption spotlight. (Report:O.Salazar-Winspear)

 

JERUSALEM, May 12 (Reuters) - A majority of Israelis want Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign or go on leave over a bribery scandal and do not believe his denials of wrongdoing, an opinion poll showed on Monday.

 

The survey in Israel’s biggest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, was the first to gauge the public mood since a court gag order in the case was partially lifted on Thursday and Olmert went on television to profess his innocence.

 

According to the poll, 59 percent of Israelis believe Olmert should resign or temporarily leave office until a police investigation into the suspicions is complete and 33 percent want him to stay.

 

Sixty percent of the 500 people surveyed said they did not believe Olmert’s statement that he did not “put money in his pocket” and doubted he could lead peace efforts while under investigation. Twenty-two percent said they believed him.

 

The poll found that 41 percent of those surveyed regarded Olmert’s deputy, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, as best suited to replace him as head of the centrist Kadima party should he resign. Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz came a distant second.

 

Legal sources say police suspect that Olmert took hundreds of thousands of dollars from New York Jewish financier Morris Talansky over a decade in coded payments.

 

Olmert, pledging to resign if indicted, said any funds from Talansky were contributions to two campaigns he waged for Jerusalem mayor in the 1990s and for posts in his former political party, Likud, in 1999 and 2002.

 

Israeli law broadly prohibits political donations of more than a few hundred dollars.

 

 

 

 

NEW ELECTION

 

With Livni as its leader, the survey showed, Kadima would edge right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party in an early election, taking 27 of parliament’s 120 seats to 23 seats for Likud—a gap within the poll’s four percent margin of error.

 

Israeli political commentators have voiced doubts that Kadima, founded in 2005 by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon before he suffered a stroke that left him comatose, would remain intact in a political scandal.

 

The poll indicated growing public support for Netanyahu, a former prime minister, with 37 percent of the respondents naming him as their choice to lead Israel’s government compared with 30 percent in a previous survey in February.

 

Olmert has pressed on with his duties, chairing the weekly  cabinet meeting and shifting his public focus towards a visit later in the week by U.S. President George W. Bush to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary and promote peacemaking.

 

Bush arrives in Israel on Wednesday amid deep scepticism over whether Washington can achieve its goal of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal before the president leaves office in January.

 

The White House has played down the possible impact of the scandal, insisting Olmert is not the only leader committed to the peace process with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

 

But Palestinian officials acknowledge privately that Olmert’s troubles could derail statehood talks, especially if Israel held a snap election ahead of a national vote due only in 2010.

Date created : 2008-05-12

COMMENT(S)