Thursday, September 18, 2008

Palestinians pleased with Livni's win

From Ynet news 17/9/08, by Ali Waked:

Palestinian authority officials breathe a sign of relief, say they feared Mofaz victory

Palestinian Authority officials said Wednesday night they were pleased with Tzipi Livni's apparent victory in the Kadima primaries and were looking forward to continuing peace talks with her.... Palestinian sources were concerned that a Mofaz victory would halt the diplomatic process, while a Livni victory was perceived as recipe for continued talks.

A senior PA official told Ynet: "... it's no secret that working with Livni will be much easier...."

The source added that a Mofaz victory would prompt him to move closer to Shas and rightist parties at the expense of talks with the Palestinians.

"Livni realizes that the solution to the current situation is a quick diplomatic agreement with us," he said. "We hope that she'd be able to form a government very quickly."...

Exit polls show sweeping Kadima victory for Livni

From THE JERUSALEM POST Sep. 17, 2008, by Gil Hoffman:

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni won Wednesday's Kadima leadership primary by a wide margin over Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter and Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, according to exit polls broadcast on the three TV networks.....

Channel 10's poll, conducted by the Dialog Institute, gave Livni 49 percent, Mofaz 37% and Dichter and Sheetrit 7% each. A Dahaf Institute poll on Channel 2 gave Livni 48% and the same results to the other three candidates as the Dialog survey. According to Manu Geva's poll on Channel 1, Livni won 47.2% of the vote, Mofaz 37.1, Dichter 8.1% and Sheetrit 6.6%.

Olmert is expected to honor his pledge and resign as prime minister in the next few days. ....
"Olmert must leave as soon as possible, for his own good and the good of the nation," a source close to Livni said.

...Labor and Shas officials said they doubted Livni would succeed in forming a government. Shas Chairman Eli Yishai reiterated his threat that Shas would not join a new coalition unless child allotments were raised.

"Let's go to elections and let the people choose their prime minister," said Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon, the cabinet member closest to Labor Chairman Ehud Barak. "It cannot be that so few people will decide who the prime minister of Israel will be. I welcome Livni's victory but Labor will prefer elections."

Meretz Chairman Haim Oron hinted that his party could join a Livni government if she gave the public clear answers on key issues.

Likud officials said there was no chance it would join....

Shelly Paz, Tovah Lazaroff, Abe Selig and Lianne Merkur contributed to this report.

...and from Ynet News, 17/9/08, by Adva Naftali:

What would Sharon say?
Former PM's advisor says Livni is not Sharon's successor, 'this is not what he hoped for'

About three years ago, Ariel Sharon established Kadima, yet on Wednesday it went to the polls as a completely different party. Former Sharon advisor Raanan Gissin says Livni should not be viewed as Sharon's "successor," and adds that the party today is in fact a missed opportunity.
"The argument that Livni is Sharon's successor is a sophisticated spin. The primaries are dominated by media advisors, who are trying to convey this message," Gissin told Ynet Wednesday night. "Had Sharon woken up today, he would say this is not what he hoped for…the simple and bitter truth is that the man who established Kadima did not leave successors behind. Kadima is a missed-out hope."

... "Sharon viewed the party as a political tool, which in the first stage would enable him to realize his diplomatic approach: Shifting from a state whereby Israel is on the defensive to a state where Israel takes the initiative. The next stage was to set up a centrist party, as people were frustrated with the Left but realistic in respect to the inability to realize the Greater Israel vision."

'The public is bored' Another former Sharon aide, Media Advisor Arnon Perlman, says that Kadima's current leadership candidates are "dull."