JERUSALEM, July 30 (Reuters) - Dogged by a series of corruption scandals, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Wednesday he would resign once his ruling Kadima party chooses a new leader in a September election.
Following are some excerpts of Olmert’s remarks.
*The time has come for me to take a decision. I don’t do this out of a feeling that I cannot fulfil my job. I believe with all my heart in my ability to continue to serve, the same as I believe in my innocence.
*In choosing between considerations of my own status and ability to fight for my innocence, and what would be best for the country, it is the latter that is decisive. Therefore I have decided I won’t run in the Kadima movement primaries, nor do I intend to intervene in the elections.
*When a new chairman is chosen, I will resign as prime minister to permit them to put together a new government swiftly and effectively, afterwards I will prove my innocence.
*I have found myself under a wave of investigation and criticism from the moment I was elected. Since my first days in the Prime Minister’s Office I have had to fight against evil attacks while I have been busy making decisions on crucial matters related to Israel’s security and existence.
*I have been forced to defend myself against ceaseless attacks on the part of self-named justice seekers who have made the goal of deposing me one in which the ends justify all the means.
*For as long as I remain in office, I will not ease up on efforts to continue to bring about negotiations between us and our neighbours, to a successful result that would contain hope.
*This is not a personal problem of mine, but a challenge to our ability as a nation to maintain stability and balance in our democratic government.
No clerk or investigator, whether junior or senior, nor any fair attorney, ... has the right to decide whether a prime minister should serve or remain in office.
Such decisions should be taken following a responsible, orderly and quiet process, such as that which takes place in all democratic countries. Unfortunately such a proper process doesn’t occur in our country. (for main story on Olmert’s speech, click on [ID:nL0594724])