Netanyahu Back as PM?
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has decided, after months of under the cloud of scandal, to step down after his Kadima party choses a new leader in September. The hope is to form a new government under the new leader and revive the party until next spring’s elections. Otherwise, Olmert could stay on until then.
Likud party leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leading all candidates by a wide margin in a new Haaretz poll.
When those polled were asked to pick between Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for future prime minister, 36 percent said they preferred Netanyahu, as opposed to 24.6 percent who chose Livni. Barak was chosen by 11.9 percent of respondents, significantly less than the fourth choice “none of the above,” which garnered 19 percent.
Netanyahu scored higher when Livni’s name was replaced by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz in the survey, with 36.6 percent of respondents picking him, over 14.8 percent for Barak, 12 percent for Mofaz, and 27.4 percent for “none of the above.”
Netanyahu looked like a pretty fair bet to win last time, too, until Ariel Sharon reshuffled the deck. That’s not going to happen again, though.