Sunday, January 15, 2006

Peres to resign from Knesset


Knesset member Shimon Peres is expected to announce his resignation from the Knesset Sunday, and will apparently cite "public office intactness" as the reason for his departure.

According to Peres' associates, there is no link between his resignation and the opinion of Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, who said Peres could not be appointed a minister in the current interim government.

Peres has been a member of Knesset since the fourth Knesset, to which he was elected in 1959. Before that, he served as a director general of the Defense Ministry.

Mazuz ruled Sunday that Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert could not appoint Shimon Peres, Dalia Itzik, and Haim Ramon as ministers, as Olmert has originally planned.

Olmert had planned on appointing the three as ministers together with three Knesset members from Kadima in order to replace Likud ministers who had resigned.

Mazuz said the Knesset members could be appointed to ministerial positions only after elections.

The attorney general based his decision on clause six of the Founding Government Act, which rules that Knesset Members who have resigned from their faction cannot be appointed to government while the Knesset from which they resigned is still in session.