Olmert gov't survives no-confidence votes

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert survived three no-confidence votes on Monday, as Israel's Knesset kicked off what promises to be a dramatic summer session.

Olmert has been under intense political fire since last month's publication of a damning investigative committee review of his government's handling of the war against Hizballah.

His growing unpopularity notwithstanding, Olmert managed to secure the backing of enough lawmakers to defeat the no-confidence motions by a large margin.

Following the votes, opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu decried the fact that the current Knesset no longer represents the will of the people, which has made its despair and lack of trust in the government known through public opinion polls and mass rallies.

Netanyahu said Olmert and his ministers should respect the will of the people and step down.

"The entire nation is saying something simple: You've failed. Take responsibility. Go home," said the Likud Party leader and former prime minister.

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