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Aide: Former Israeli PM Olmert will not run in election
Published Thursday 06/12/2012 (updated) 08/12/2012 12:30
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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Former Israeli leader Ehud Olmert put an end to weeks of political suspense on Thursday with a decision not to run against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January's election.

The centrist Olmert had been mulling a political comeback since October, when Netanyahu called the election after his government failed to agree on the 2013 budget.

"He is not running," his aide, Yanki Galanti, told Reuters.

Olmert, 67, was forced to quit as prime minister in 2008 over corruption charges of which he was largely acquitted this year. He is internationally credited for pursuing peace with the Palestinians.

Right-wing Netanyahu, who polls predict will win the ballot, has come under international pressure in the past week after his government announced plans to expand Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli commentators were divided on whether an Olmert candidacy would have helped to unite an already splintered center-left opposition, or would have further fractured the bloc.

Israelis go to the polls on Jan. 22.
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1 ) gabi / australia
07/12/2012 01:27
Pity. This is the man who, just before he was defeated by Netanyahu, agreed to negotiate for a true two-states side by side, with Israel withdrawing to its 1967 borders with some appropriate land swaps, and Jerusalem to be an International city. Then Netanyahu was elected, and ANY agreement went out the door. Because despite what Israel says, it does not intend to negotiate anything - just read the Likud charter to understand their position. No Pal. state, no divided Jerusalem, more settlers.

2 ) some one / some where
07/12/2012 14:08
#1 you are wrong he was kik out as soon as they found he is willing to return golan and divide JM they trap him and kik his bud out any one in this line would receive same treatment so you better know your enemy
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