22 Sep 2008

Israeli prime minister resigns

5:10 pm on 22 September 2008

The Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has announced his resignation at a cabinet meeting, but could remain in office for weeks or months until a new government is formed.

Mr Olmert, who faces criminal indictment in corruption investigations, says he believes he is acting "properly and in accordance with good governance" in stepping down.

It was not immediately clear when Mr Olmert would formally submit his resignation to the President Shimon Peres.

After he does so, he will become caretaker prime minister until Israel has a new government through a coalition deal or an early election.

Mr Olmert was replaced by the Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as leader of the ruling Kadima Party in an internal election earlier.