Sheetrit new interior minister; Ramon vice premier

Construction and Housing Minster Meir Sheetrit accepted an offer from Olmert to become interior minister, relacing Roni Bar-On, who will be finance minister. Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze'ev Boim will be promoted to replace Sheetrit. Haim Ramon gave in to pressure from the prime minister's office and agreed to return to the cabinet and accept upon himself president elect Shimon Peres's former title of vice premier. Minister without portfolio Ya'acov Edri and Knesset House Committee chair Ruhama Avraham will also be promoted. The prime minister has also decided to appoint new deputy ministers for the first time since the government was formed. Two of the new deputy ministers will be from Kadima, and each of the other four coalition partners will receive one deputy minister portfolio. Olmert will announce the appointments in a meeting of the cabinet at the Knesset at 2:30 p.m.