While Israeli police officials and state prosecutors on Sunday discussed filing an official indictment against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, according to media reports the Israeli leader has been hatching a plan to remain in power for at least another six months.
Olmert has agreed to let his ruling Kadima Party hold a primary election later this month, but only on the condition that the winner will have to form a new ruling coalition. If the primary winner fails to form a new government, Olmert will remain prime minister until new national elections can be held.
Kadima Party sources who spoke to Ha'aretz said that Olmert is purposely trying to undermine his successor by continuing to push through controversial policies that will create enough discord to destroy anyone's chances of forming a majority coalition.
One of those policies is a new evacuation-compensation proposal aimed at bribing Jews to move out of areas of Judea and Samaria that Olmert intends to surrender to the Palestinians. Many in Olmert's party, including leadership candidate Shaul Mofaz, firmly oppose the plan, while a majority of the prime minister's current coalition partners support it.
But Olmert's power play may come to naught if the police decide to officially recommend an indictment against the prime minister in any one of seven corruption investigations he is currently facing.
Senior police investigators met for five hours on Sunday to discuss the issue, and were expected to formulate their official recommendation by Monday morning. Even if the police decide to recommend indicting Olmert, the State Prosecutor's office would still take about two weeks from then to make its final decision.
However, an official police recommendation against Olmert would in the eyes of his detractors even further invalidate his mandate to govern and his future plans. Though the prime minister's current behavior suggests he wouldn't see things that way.
Want more news from Israel?
Click Here to sign up for our FREE daily email updates