Elections 'in the Air'

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli politicians left, right and center, believe that early elections will take place before the end of the year. If Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were to serve his full term, elections would not be held until November 2010.

But on Wednesday, Defense Minister and Labor party chairman Ehud Barak called on Olmert to step down from office while he attended to his increasingly complicated legal situation involving alleged money laundering, breach of trust and corruption.

Barak said the prime minister could choose one of four possible options -- suspension, leave of absence, resignation or declaration of incapacity.

On Thursday, Labor party cabinet ministers rallied behind their chairman as they contemplated the party's preparations for national elections.

Labor party ministers, along with Likud, Shas and most of the smaller parties, say general elections are likely before the end of the year.

"Enough of these political maneuverings," read a statement by Likud. "The great challenges this country faces demand we establish a new, strong government. The Likud calls on all the House factions, from both the right and the left, to set a date for the dispersal of the Knesset and new elections."

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, YNet news

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