Olmert cautions Peres's victory not guaranteed

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday that Vice Premier Shimon Peres was not guaranteed the presidency, Army Radio reported. Speaking to the Kadima faction, Olmert said, "We are well-versed in political battles and know that nothing is a given in these conflicts. We must reach every voter so that on Wednesday, the members of Knesset will do what the Israeli people expect them to do: elect Shimon Peres president." He added that the election of Peres "is not important to Kadima, but to Israel. There is a necessity to elect the most worthy man for [the job]." Olmert emphasized that Peres was capable of faithfully representing the party. "We will ensure that Peres will stand on Wednesday at the head of the state and represent it honorably, with inspiration, as he has known how to do throughout his years" in various official positions, he said.