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ISRAEL - Aug. 2 - FM Levy Resigns.

FM Levy announces his resignation, the latest in a series of blows for PM Barak's coalition government. Levy tells a news conference at parliament that he had "no option" but to resign because of the prime minister's concessions to the Palestinians over Jerusalem. Levy says: "It is not possible to be in government and to explain things that you oppose". His resignation is followed swiftly by a preliminary vote in parliament calling for early elections. (Barak will be able to cling to power at least until late October, since parliament is going into a 3-month summer recess. The legislation to advance the scheduled date of elections from 2003 must go through several more stages. Barak says he was not deterred by the setbacks and would press on with his agenda, including peace talks with the Palestinians.) In his resignation announcement, Levy repeats his call to Barak to try to form a government of national unity - a course neither Barak nor the opposition have backed. No replacement for Levy is announced. (One option is for Barak to take on the job himself, adding to his growing list of cabinet portfolios. On July 31, the prime minister suffered another setback when his favoured candidate for the presidency, Shimon Peres, was defeated.)
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Title Annotation:finance minister
Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Aug 5, 2000
Words:209
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