Knesset Speaker Third in Primaries

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM - Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik finished third in the Kadima party primaries Wednesday, just after Foreign Minister and party chair Tzipi Livni and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz.

By 6:00 p.m., only 20 percent of the party's registered voters had cast their ballots.

"I think Kadima voters are struggling to rally behind a candidate," a 20-year-old campaign worker manning a polling station told The Jerusalem Post. "[Former Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon came and went, [outgoing Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert came and went, and now we have Livni," he said.

"It's been less than three years, and we've gone through three different leaders so I think it's hard for people to feel a close connection," he said.

By the time the polls closed at 1:00 a.m., 44 percent voted in the primaries, lower than the turnouts for the Labor and Likud parties.

Itzik is one of four women in Kadima's top 10 spots, led by Livni.

Party faithful MK (member of Knesset) Tzachi Hanegbi came in fourth, and Finance Minister MK Roni Bar-On made the number five spot.

The last four places went to MKs Ze'ev Boim, Meir Sheetrit, Avi Dichter, Ruhama Avraham and Marina Solodkin, respectively.

The party's Arab sector came out in force, with 70 percent casting ballots in the primary.

Sources: YNet news, The Jerusalem Post

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