Netanyahu seeks early elections


Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu called for early elections to replace Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

“Something serious has befallen Israel: a prime minister who failed in a war is evading responsibility,”
Netanyahu, a former prime minister, said at a news conference Thursday.

The Likud Party leader was alluding to the Winograd Commission of inquiry’s report on the Second Lebanon War, which censured both the military and political echelons.

“The large majority of the public and most of the political spectrum want a proper and responsible leadership for the State of Israel, and this leadership can only be attained through new elections,” he said.

Olmert has rebuffed calls for him to step down or call for new elections. Surveys show Netanyahu is Israel’s most popular politician, but unless Olmert’s coalition government falls he has no immediate prospect of again being elected as prime minister.

The next general elections are scheduled for 2010.


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