beilin 224.88 .
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
MKs from both the Right and the Left called for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to suspend himself after the State Prosecutor ordered police on Tuesday evening to launch a criminal investigation against the prime minister.
"The prime minister demanded last night from the state comptroller to suspend retired official Ya'acov Borovsky following a criminal investigation against him, and it's fitting that he should serve as an example," said NU/NRP Chairman Zevulun Orlev.
MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said Olmert was at the forefront of a "web of failures in the diplomatic, defense, and now the purity of character department," Army Radio reported.
On the Left, Labor's Shelly Yacimovich praised State Prosecutor Eran Shendar's decision, saying that he had taken a brave step and proven that all citizens were equal in the eyes of the law.
MK Ran Cohen (Meretz), meanwhile, called the investigation "the beginning of the end of Olmert and his government."
Meretz Chairman Yossi Beilin echoed Orlev in demanding that the prime minister suspend himself and hand his authority over to his deputy, Foreign Minsiter Tzipi Livni, until the end of the investigation proceedings.
"Issues of state can't be handled by someone who is entirely busy with saving himself," Beilin said.
Olmert is being investigated for his alleged involvement in the Bank Leumi tender affair, in which he is suspected of intervening to steer the tender in favor of three of his friends.
Beilin threatened that "if the prime minister doesn't suspend himself, Meretz will employ processes in the Knesset that will require him to do so."