Olmert not returning to politics, remains in Kadima

Former prime minister dispels rumors that he is joining Yair Lapid's party; 70% of public would opposes his political return.

July 12, 2012 14:18
1 minute read.
FORMER PRIME MINISTER Ehud Olmert in court

FORMER PRIME MINISTER Ehud Olmert in court 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert said on Thursday that he has no intention to return to politics, and is busy with numerous other issues.

"I want to calm all those who are worrying. I have no intention of getting into political activity. I am not involved and do not intend to become involved," Olmert said at a Tel Aviv University speech.

Reaffirming himself as a Kadima man, Olmert asked that his name not be dragged into things he has no intention of associating with. The comment was a reference to a Haaretz report that he intended to team up with Yair Lapid, a report Lapid also denied on Thursday.

"The Yesh Atid movement has no and has had no intention or plan to join politically with Mr. Olmert, who is a Kadima member," Lapid said in an interview with Army Radio, emphasizing that while Olmert is a family friend, they do not intend to run together in elections.

Earlier on Thursday, Olmert's spokesman Jacob Galanti told Israel Radio that the former prime minister would not consider returning to politics until a verdict is reached in the Holyland trial.

Though Olmert was cleared of major corruption charges in the Rishon Tours affair and the Talansky affair on Tuesday, the separate Holyland trial may continue well past the elections scheduled for October, 2013.

A Channel 10 television survey whose results were aired on Wednesday found that 70 percent of the public would oppose him re-entering politics, with only 22% in support.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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