You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

2

1

▼  5th Inning 1 outs

Israel’s ex-PM Olmert considering comeback, aides say

JERUSALEM — Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli prime minister, is considering a political comeback to challenge incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming elections, aides said Wednesday.

With new parliamentary polls set for early 2013, Olmert is considered the candidate with the best chance of unseating Netanyahu at the ballot box, despite a precarious legal situation that may stand in his way if he gets elected.

Continue reading below

Olmert was recently cleared of the most serious of several bribery allegations that forced him out of office in 2009 but is still bogged down in a separate bribery trial that leaves his political future in doubt.

Olmert was deeply unpopular while in office, but he has enjoyed a revival in recent months, with many fearing he was unfairly removed from office for allegations that ultimately did not stand up in court. Commentators have also lamented the breakdown in Middle East peace efforts under Netanyahu and wondered whether Olmert, who conducted more than a year of intense negotiations with the Palestinians, might have delivered an agreement if he had not been driven from power.

‘‘I can tell you that he is pondering it and the political system is putting a lot of pressure on him,’’ his former Cabinet secretary and confidant Yisrael Maimon told Israel’s Army Radio station.

With Netanyahu’s hawkish Likud party far ahead in the polls, Israel’s centrist and leftist parties are desperate for a candidate who can unite the fragmented and leaderless opposition parties under an umbrella that can mount a serious challenge.

Analysts predict Olmert is the only candidate who could prevent Netanyahu from a sweeping reelection. Since he stepped down, his Kadima Party has seen its public support evaporate under new leader Shaul Mofaz.

If Olmert jumps back into politics, it is unclear if he will rejoin Kadima or a new political constellation. Kadima lawmaker Dalia Itzik said she hopes Olmert retakes Kadima, with Mofaz’s acquiescence.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.