Court: No need to hear Olmert petition

HCJ: No point in considering petition by Yossi Fuchs against intention to appoint Olmert interim PM.

The High Court of Justice has ruled that there is no point in considering a petition by Attorney Yossi Fuchs against the intention to appoint Ehud Olmert as interim prime minister should it be determined that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is permanently unable to fulfill his duties. Fuchs told The Jerusalem Post that he filed the petition after hearing Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz declare that if Sharon were permanently incapacitated, he would appoint Olmert as interim prime minister. Fuchs maintained that if Mazuz were to declare Sharon permanently incapacitated, he should appoint a Likud minister as interim prime minister. In the petition, Fuchs wrote that he disagreed with Mazuz over the interpretation of Article 30 (c) of the Basic Law: Government, which addresses a situation in which the prime minister is permanently incapacitated and instructs the government to appoint "another minister who is also an MK and a member of the Prime Minister's Knesset faction to serve as interim prime minister until a new government is formed." Fuchs said that because since Sharon was elected as a member of the Likud and was asked to form a government on the basis of Likud's strength in the Knesset, the interim prime minister should be a member of the Likud. He added, however, that after he filed his petition, two new developments occurred. First of all, Mazuz declared that Sharon was temporarily, not permanently, incapacitated. According to Article 16 (b) of the law, in case the prime minister is temporarily incapacitated, he is to be replaced by the deputy prime minister, who, in this case, was Olmert. The second development was that the Likud ministers resigned from the government, so that even were if Mazuz were to declare today that Sharon was permanently incapacitated, none of them could replace Sharon according to the terms of Article 30 (c). These two developments rendered Fuchs' petition theoretical. The court ruled there was no immediate need to consider his argument, and rejected the petition as no longer relevant.