Sheetrit: I want to run for PM

Interior Minister Sheetrit says Kadima members cannot make Livni PM without primaries.

sheetrit big head 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
sheetrit big head 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
In preparation for the release of the final Winograd report, which, as a member of the committee told Channel 1, would be "fire and brimstone," Kadima has begun considering the potential fallout, including the possibility that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would be forced to step down. Kadima and Labor officials began studying succession laws to determine under what circumstances Olmert's deputy prime minister, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, could succeed him without forcing an election. However, Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, also of Kadima told Army Radio Monday morning that "if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be forced to resign following the publication of the Winograd report, Kadima will not make his stand-in, [Foreign Minister] Tzipi Livni, prime minister. According to the party's constitution, primaries will be held, and I, Meir Sheetrit, intend to be a candidate." Sheetrit nevertheless added there was no point to discuss, at present, political speculations ahead of the Winograd report's publication. Meanwhile, Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman, who occupies the most right-wing position in Olmert's wide coalition, threatened on Sunday to leave the government if 'core issues' would be discussed with the Palestinians. Core issues include the borders of Jerusalem, the refugee issue and the amount and location of territory Israel would agree to cede to the as-yet-unborn Palestinian state. As the Post's Herb Keinon writes on Monday, Lieberman's threat could actually help Olmert consolidate power. The coalition could survive without Israel Beiteinu's 11 seats, less so without Labor; and voices in Labor calling for Barak to make good on his promise to quit the government following the publication of the report would significantly weaken once the largest left-wing bloc party would no longer sit side by side with a party considered extremely right-wing. Of these voices, one of the most clearly heard is that of MK Ophir Paz-Pines, who is consistently adamant that Olmert resign. Following a document the Prime Minister's Office submitted to the Winograd Committee on Monday, detailing all the steps that were taken following the recommendations of the interim report on the failures of the Second Lebanon War, Paz-Pines said that while he greeted the PMO's endeavor to fix the flaws, Olmert's sheer remaining in office was in itself a "flaw" that should be addressed. "I appreciate the fact that the Prime Minister's Office is working to fix flaws that arose following the war, but the main flaw that is yet to be fixed is Olmert himself," his spokesman quoted him to the Post. "This cannot be fixed by committees; only the political system can bring about his resignation and return the people's trust in its elected officials," Paz-Pines added. Gil Hoffman contributed to this report