Livni set to advance date of Kadima primaries

Opposition leader expected to set party leadership race date for as early as March 21 at press conference.

MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima) 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima) 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni was expected to announce the date of Kadima party leadership primaries in a press conference set to take place at 10:30 Wednesday morning.
The primaries are expected to take place at some point between March 21, after the Knesset goes out of session, and the start of the Passover holiday in mid-April.
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Last week, sources close to Livni said that she instructed her party’s legal authorities and organizational team to investigate whether it would be possible to hold a leadership race as early as March.
Holding the race in only two months could enable Livni to catch her party rivals off guard as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did to his nemesis, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, when he advanced the Likud primary from spring 2013 to January 31, 2012.
Livni’s political foes welcomed the report and said they were not concerned about their readiness for the race.
MK Meir Sheetrit told The Jerusalem Post from Spain: “At last! We wanted March all along. It is good that she finally woke up, made a decision, and accepted our demand.”
A source close to MK Shaul Mofaz said he wanted the race to be in March in the first place.
MK Avi Dichter complained on Army Radio that “Livni has led the party to the depths of hell,” and that the party’s downfall in the polls was 90 percent her fault.
Livni’s spokesman responded that “Dichter’s candidacy has led him to new lows that embarrass the party and himself.”
The spokesman said that Livni will continue to lead Kadima and would not stoop to mudslinging.