Despite Setback, Livni Still in Running to Become Israeli Prime Minister

Although Tzipi Livni announced on Sunday that efforts to form a new government in Israel had failed, new polls published Tuesday show that her Kadima party should triumph over its chief rival Likud in forthcoming elections, thus allowing Livni to become only the second woman prime minister of the country.

Currently the foreign minister, Livni became leader of the ruling Kadima party a month ago, but needed to put together a coalition with other parties in order to govern. She blamed the impasse on the “illegitimate demands” of the smaller parties in the Knesset. The failure to form a coalition means that early elections will now be called.

Previous polls had indicated that the right-wing Likud party, under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, would beat Kadima in elections. However, the positive polling by Ma’ariv and Yedioth Ahronoth newspapers suggest that her refusal to give in to demands from the smaller parties that she needed for a coalition has been well received by the public. Livni has become known for her efforts in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.


Washington Post 10/26/08; AFP 10/26/08; The Guardian 10/27/08; BBC 10/27/08; Feminist Wire 10/24/08; Ms. magazine; Winter 2008

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