Barak: New elections not far off

Defense minister hints Labor could quit gov't, tells bereaved parents PM wasn't cleared by Winograd.

barak olmert 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
barak olmert 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak indicated Sunday night that despite previous statements to the contrary, he may decide to pull Labor out of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government due to Olmert's "accountability" for Israel's failure to attain its objectives during the Second Lebanon War. "The prime minister has not been cleared of all accountability," Barak said during a meeting with bereaved parents of soldiers who fell during the war. The parents met Barak in his office and discussed with him the results of the war and its implications on the remainder of Olmert's term. Barak also indicated that the possibility of his party quitting the government was still on the agenda, claiming that the government would not live out its term. "Elections in two or three years are not a possibility," he assured the parents. The final Winograd report on the Second Lebanon War was "a harsh report," Barak said. "The prime minister was not vindicated by the report." The defense minister claimed that he had decided to remain in the government when the report came out because of pressing matters that were on the national agenda. "The fact that he is still prime minister reinforces the public's sense that something is unfinished," he said. "The public will decide regarding the prime minister."