By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN, JPOST.COM STAFF
Tensions in Kadima's ranks escalated further Thursday when party No. 2 Shaul Mofaz blasted leader Tzipi Livni after the latter refused to meet him in order to set an agreed date for primaries.
Mofaz said Livni's refusal "proves she is scared" of the threat that he posed to her leadership.
In a statement, Mofaz said Livni's "hesitancy and lack of leadership will lead to the division of Kadima."
In issuing his demands for a meeting on Thursday morning, Mofaz's spokesman released a statement noting that "less than a year after the elections, half the faction has conducted negotiations with another party," and calling to let the public choose "between the weakness and arrogance of Livni and Mofaz's leadership."
Meanwhile, according to an Israel Radio poll, Livni's days as Kadima leader appear to be numbered.
The survey showed that nearly a third of Kadima voters believe Livni would not be a fitting prime minister, and it also forecast that the party would lose mandates with its current head should elections be held today.
The poll predicted Likud would get 29 mandates - a gain of two - while Kadima would lose seven and only win 22.
The survey gave Israel Beiteinu 16 seats - one more than it now has - Shas 12, Labor nine, UTJ six, Meretz six, Habayit Hayehudi four, National Union five and Arab parties 12.
The poll also showed that 36 percent of Kadima voters support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's initiative to bring Kadima into the government.
Mofaz angered Livni over the past week by trying to take advantage of Netanyahu's efforts to split the party to force her into advancing the next party leadership race.
However, The Jerusalem Post learned Tuesday that Livni had been considering taking revenge against Mofaz - by calling his bluff and accepting his demand.
Mofaz has been meeting with Kadima MKs over the past week to try to persuade them to advance the leadership race to 2010 from its currently scheduled date of three months before the next general election, which might not take place until its set time of November 2013.
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