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Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke with the two candidates for the post of finance minister, Interior Minister Roni Bar-On and MK Haim Ramon, and informed them that he was still undecided about whom to recommend to the cabinet.

Aides to Olmert said yesterday that irrespective of the outcome of the treasury appointment, the prime minister considered Ramon a candidate for a senior ministerial post in his government.

The prime minister's bureau rejected reports that Olmert is postponing the decision because Ramon presented him with an ultimatum - that he is only willing to accept the treasury portfolio.

"The prime minister has great appreciation for Ramon and considers him a worthy candidate to fulfill a significant role in public life, and is holding talks with him on this issue." the statement read. "The dialogue between the two does not involve in any way ultimatums or threats."

Sources close to Ramon insisted that he never presented Olmert with any demands, and that he holds regular conversations with him.