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Olmert Loses Three

Ehud Olmert’s threadbare coalition just got threadbarer. Three members of the Pensioners’ party–a bizarre political apparition that managed to get 7 seats in parliament based almost entirely on the Israeli voter’s sense of irony– have split off to form the “Justice for Pensioners” party. (Life of Brian fans, take note.) The trio’s principal gripe is that the government has not actually fulfilled its commitments as part of the coalition agreement, and that their former party head Rafi Eitan is having too much fun as a minister to notice. Anyway, since they are out of the coalition, Olmert is down to 64 seats in a Knesset where a ruling majority needs 61.

There will be elections as soon as one of the parties thinks it’ll be better off trying their luck with voters than in their present state. Could be tomorrow, could be in a year. Don’t hold your breath.