Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni, together again. That is the pact the two reportedly forged in a 90-minute meeting on Wednesday, when the former Kadima party leaders agreed to join forces should they choose to run in the upcoming general elections.
Olmert, the former prime minister who was forced to step down under the cloud of corruption charges, would rejoin Livni, the foreign minister who replaced him at the helm of the party but left politics when she was ousted from the Kadima leadership earlier this year after failing to form a governing coalition in the last general elections.
Olmert has been weighing a return to politics, but his ability to run for office was cast in doubt on Tuesday when the State Attorney’s Office informed Olmert’s lawyers that it will appeal his acquittal in at least one, and possibly both, of the two substantive corruption cases in which he was acquitted by the Jerusalem District Court in July.
Even if legal issues do not impede the former prime minister, however, it remains unclear under what framework Olmert and Livni would run in the January 22 elections. A return to Kadima seems unlikely, and establishing a new party in time for the elections would present daunting procedural and financing challenges.