Livni wins Kadima Primary while Netanyahu calls for new elections
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
On Wednesday September 17, 2008 the Kadima political party in Israel held primary elections to choose a replacement for the disgraced PM Ehud Olmert. Despite exit polls showing Livni soundly defeating Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, the final end vote tallies showed that Livni only defeated Mofaz by some 400 odd votes. Despite the closeness of the vote, Mofaz resisted calls from within his camp to contest the voting results.
A Haaretz Newspaper article showed that Livni wasted no time in calling for Olmert to step down. The articles reports:
Fresh off her primary victory on Thursday, new Kadima chair Tzipi Livni told faction MKs on Friday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ought to stick to his pledge to resign as soon as the party selected a new leader. During the faction meeting in Petah Tikva on Friday, Livni also addressed Olmert's recent announcement that he would resign as soon as a new Kadima head is elected, and said "I told him I appreciated the manner in which he has decided to end his term." "As of now, there is a country to run and we must act quickly. We don't have time to fuss around with politics," she added. Livni convened the party's first faction meeting since her election in the primary. Livni announced her intention to try and forge a coalition, but declared "If I don't succeed in forming a government, I will go to general elections and win."
As we can see here Livni is hitting the pavement running with the calling for Olmert to resign. Livni will be under strong pressure to put together a coalition government that many have said doesn't seem possible given the current state of political affairs concerning the issues of Jerusalem and giving away more land.
For his part opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu called for all parties to immediately go to general elections. Polls show Bibi leading all political candidates should new general elections be held at this time. Bibi's call was reported in this Jerusalem Post article. The article reported:
Likud leader MK Binyamin Netanyahu has called on Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the Kadima Party's new leader, to set a date for general elections. "This is the most decent and democratic thing to do. We need to go to the people of Israel and let them choose," Netanyahu told Livni by phone Thursday.
Bibi further stated:
"We need to let the people of Israel decide who should be the country's prime minister and not to leave this decision exclusively to the members of Kadima," Netanyahu said. "He who fears the people's choice, should not lead," he added. Other MKs expressed their support for general elections after Livni won the Kadima party primary by a negligible 431 votes, or 1.1% of the vote.
For Bibi's part he was very active after the Kadima primary. The Jerusalem Post reported that Bibi called on the Shas political party to refrain from joining the Livni government. The article reports:
Opposition leader and Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu met Rabbi Ovadya Yosef, the spiritual leader of Shas and asked him not to join a coalition led by newly elected Kadima chairman Tzipi Livni, on Sunday. Shas chairman Eli Yishai said at the end of the meeting that the rabbi had heard Netanyahu's outline for the coalition and added that any decision on the matter will be made only after deliberations in the Council of Torah Sages. "Shas will not give up on two main anchors - a real solution to the social and economic crises, which would mean helping a million hungry children, and the diplomatic issue, the center of which is Jerusalem," Yishai said.
Bibi also met with Ehud Barak after the vote and tried to persuade him to back new elections. The Israel National News reports:
Labor head Defense Minister Ehud Barak met Saturday night with Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu. The two discussed the latest political developments. Barak reiterated, as he has said in recent weeks, that a national emergency unity government is necessary right now. Netanyahu has said that elections should be scheduled as soon as possible.
On Sunday September 21, 2008 Ehud Olmert officially handed in his resignation to Israeli President Shimon Peres. Peres is expected on Monday to officially entrust Livni with setting up a new government over the coming weeks. The Jerusalem Post reported on Olmert's resignation:
Thirty-three months after dramatically filling in for a stroke-stricken Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - facing a number of corruption allegations - formally tendered his resignation to President Shimon Peres on Sunday evening. Olmert entered and left Beit Hanassi by a side entrance, thereby avoiding the press, and met with Peres for some 30 minutes.
While the coming weeks promise many political twists and turns as events on the Israel political stage unfold, only the Lord knows how things will work out. For me, it is my desire to see new elections and see that Netanyahu take over the PM spot once again. Bibi's comments over the past year seem to make him the best choice for the PM's office at this critical point in Israeli history. It is apparent from the past 4 years of diplomatic talks that nothing is going to convince the Iranians to stop their nuclear programs. With the window of opportunity closing in on doing something about this threat, Netanyahu appears to be the most likely candidate to handle the situation successfully. It is my feat that a Livni based Israeli government will be nothing more than a second reincarnation of the failed Olmert government. Livni will no doubt give away more land and further diminish Israel's security.
In times like these, we need to pray for the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Her enemies are hard at work trying to destroy her and she needs all the help she can get.