Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the country's prime minister must step down to battle corruption allegations. At a news conference Wednesday, Barak said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert cannot manage the country's crucial state of affairs such as the talks with the Palestinians while also coping with a police investigation.
According to Barak, Olmert should suspend himself from office or resign. Olmert's aides, however, conveyed he has no plans to step aside.
Barak warned that if Olmert does not step down, he will take his Labor party out of the governing coalition and form new elections. Barak spoke a day after an American businessman testified in court that he delivered tens of thousands of dollars to Olmert, often in cash-stuffed envelopes.