Israel (Almost) Has a Woman Prime Minister
Posted on Sep 17, 2008
Though it wasn’t immediately official, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni won control of the country’s ruling Kadima party and, if she is successful in forming a governing coalition, will be the first woman prime minister in more than three decades. Livni is currently Israel’s lead negotiator with the Palestinians and, according to the newspaper Haaretz, was seen as likelier to reach a deal than her party rivals.
Ismail Haniya of Hamas dismissed the results, declaring, “All Israeli leaders unite in their hostile positions against our people and in denying their rights, notably Jerusalem and the refugees.”
Update: Livni will likely have to satisfy both Labor and the smaller Shas party if she is to succeed in forming a coalition.
Livni said she would launch coalition talks on Friday, even though President Shimon Peres cannot officially ask her to try to put together a government until Olmert resigns the premiership.
After she is assigned the task, she will have 42 days to form a new ruling coalition, and if she succeeds, she will become Israel’s first female prime minister since Golda Meir stepped down in 1974. If she fails, the country will hold elections in early 2009, a year and a half ahead of schedule.
Flickr / World Economic Forum