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Israeli politicians strike deal to avert early elections | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli politicians say they have reached a last-minute deal that will temporarily avert new elections and allow Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government to stay in power for a few more months.

Lawmakers from Olmert’s Kadima Party and Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s Labor Party say Labor has agreed not to vote to dissolve Parliament in a vote scheduled Wednesday. In return, Kadima has agreed to hold primary elections to elect a new leader.

Speaking on Israel Radio on Wednesday, lawmakers Tzahi Hanegbi of Kadima and Eitan Cabel of Labor said the primary would be completed by September 25.

The unpopular Olmert is facing a police investigation into corruption allegations. Barak called on him to step aside and threatened to bring down the coalition government if he did not.