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Israeli PM to Resign on Sunday


Aides to Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert say he intends to resign Sunday, following a series of corruption allegations that have tainted his term in office.

Officials say Mr. Olmert will announce his decision at Sunday's weekly Cabinet meeting before formally submitting his resignation to Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Earlier this year, Mr. Olmert promised to resign following a vote by his ruling Kadima party to elect a new leader.

Kadima members narrowly elected Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Wednesday, setting her on track to become the country's next prime minister.

Livni must form a coalition in coming weeks to be sworn in as prime minister. If she fails, Israel is likely to hold a parliamentary election early next year.

Mr. Olmert will continue to serve as interim prime minister until a new government is formed.

The exact date of Mr. Olmert's meeting with Mr. Peres is unclear. Sources say it may take place after Mr. Peres returns from the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York, which begins next week.

Livni won Kadima's leadership contest by just one percentage point, raising concerns about her support within the party. Her rival, Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz, said Thursday he was quitting politics.

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu is demanding an election be called immediately, saying it would be the most democratic way to pick Israel's next prime minister.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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