Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held a press conference Wednesday announcing he will not run in the Kadima primary election in September.
His announcement signaled the end of his term in office and has some concerned it could affect the U.S.-backed Mideast peace efforts.
What does this mean for Israel's future and the Middle East peace process? Click play to watch more analysis from CBN News' John Waage from our Jerusalem Bureau.
Olmert is being investigated for alleged corruption, bribery, fraud and breach of public trust.
He has denied wrongdoing but pledged to resign if indicted.
The prime minister made his announcement on TV and radio Wednesday evening in Israel.
He also said, "I will vacate my position" to allow his successor to form a government. His resignation clears the way for choosing a new prime minister.
If Olmert's successor as party leader can form a coalition, Israel could have a new government in October. If not, an election campaign could take several months.
Olmert, 62, served as Jerusalem mayor for 10 years until 2003, when he was appointed trade minister in former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government.
He held that position until he became prime minister in 2006 after Sharon suffered a devastating stroke.
Source: The Associated Press