Kadima Presses toward Primary

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - While Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is in Washington this week, his colleagues in Kadima are talking about the party's first primaries, ostensibly to choose his replacement.

MK (member of Knesset) Tzahi Hanegbi, who chairs Kadima's steering committee, announced an open meeting next Wednesday to discuss the issue.

While a party statute requires Olmert's approval to hold primaries, the prime minister may not be able to withstand a majority of members favoring that option.

"If all the MKs in Kadima say a decision on primaries cannot wait any longer, he [Olmert] will have no choice but to acquiesce," said one Kadima MK.

Some analysts consider Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to be the frontrunner in a bid to replace Olmert.

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, who publicly supported the prime minister in the police investigation for corruption and misuse of funds, is also vying for party chairmanship.

Olmert returns to Israel Friday, just before the start of Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks), which will provide a few more days of respite before Wednesday's Kadima faction meeting.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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