Barak Formally Resigns as Israeli Prime Minister
Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak said he had formally resigned on Sunday after just 17 months in power to stand again in new elections for the nation's top job to be held in two months, according to AFP.
He tendered his resignation in person to President Moshe Katsav shortly before 2:30 p.m. (1230 GMT), the day after making public his dramatic decision in a speech televised to the nation.
The 58-year-old former army chief, who has been trailing badly in opinion polls, said late Saturday he would contest new elections for prime minister to be held within in 60 days, said the agency.
Under Israeli election law his resignation only takes effect after 48 hours, making polling likely before mid-February, reported The Jerusalem Post newspaper.
It added that only members of the Knesset can run for prime minister in special elections. The candidate must be backed by a party or parties that have at least 10 MKs.
The law also stipulates that a party can replace its candidate up to four days before the special election, said the paper.
Barak’s resignation drew various reactions from key players including Palestinians, Egypt, the US and the EU.
Under the current law, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot run for the premiership because he is not a member of the Knesset.
Netanyahu resigned following Barak’s win in the May 1999 elections – (Several Sources)
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