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September 18, 2008
Israel picks new party leader in close election


Tzipi Livni, pictured at the World Economic Forum in 2007, was elected leader of the Kadima Party.

Israel held elections for a new leader of the ruling Kadima Party yesterday, the first step in a long path that could eventually lead to a new prime minister. Tzipi Livni, a foreign minister, won by a narrow margin of about 1 percent over her main contender, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz. If she becomes prime minister, she will be Israel’s first female prime minister in 34 years.

“Yael K” liveblogged about the elections, including several disturbances and the closing of a polling station in Rahat.

“Sabbah Blog” provides a briefing on the election and the candidates and assesses the effect of the elections on the prospect for peace.

“Foreign Policy Watch” considers Livni’s relationship with political groups in Israel.

“The Agonist” favors Tzipi Livni and muses about future relations between the United States and Israel given the changing leadership of both nations.

Joshua Landis discusses Israel’s relationship with Syria and the United States, and Shmuel Rosner calls Livni “Israel’s Obama.”

Al Jazeera reports on Palestinian reactions to the election. Read and watch the Guardian’s report on Livni and the challenges she faces.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, plagued by corruption scandals, promised to resign as soon as a successor was chosen, but now may not leave until October.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user World Economic Forum under a Creative Commons license.

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