The storm erupting within the Kadima opposition party is expected to escalate today, Thursday, as party officials are planning to convene to discuss the possibility of holding early primaries to elect a party leader. While party leader Tzipi Livni remains opposed, her primary adversary, Shaul Mofaz, is leading a formidable force seeking to oust Livni from the party’s top spot, pushing to move up the elections in the hope of unseating the incumbent.
Kadima officials close to Livni stated she is prepared and she will not permit Mofaz and his supporters to oust her, adding “if Mofaz does not like the way things are, he can leave”.
While Livni is exhibiting a fighting spirit and a modicum of confidence, most Kadima officials believe Mofaz’s bid for early elections will be successful, and they even predict primaries will take place before the summer, in which case Livni will most likely be unseated.
By most accounts, Livni, a former foreign minister, is a two-time loser, having failed to assemble a coalition when PM Ehud Olmert was compelled to step down, and even worse, failing to assemble a coalition for a second time following the last general election, when Kadima earned one more seat than Likud, but Livni was compelled to tell President Shimon Peres she cannot assemble a government, placing the mandate in the hands of Likud.
Seeking to maintain an air of principle, she also recently rejected [again] a call to come into the coalition government and abandon the position of opposition leader.
Livni is not without support however, backed by senior Kadima officials Tzachi Hanegbi and Chaim Ramon, who will seek to torpedo early elections.
Some feel that Livni may win the battle but lose the war, for if she halts the bid for early elections, a number of Kadima MKs may break away to form another party. Six MKs have already stated openly they are willing to make such a move.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)