Israel’s Kadima party votes today for a new leader and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is the frontrunner, according to the polls.
With 47 percent backing, she has nearly twice the support of former general and Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz.
Although he is on the way out under the shadow of a possible trial on allegations of corruption, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert intends to stay on until his successor forms a new coalition government, which could take weeks.
Whoever becomes Kadima’s new leader faces a difficult task. The party, founded by Ariel Sharon three years ago, commands only a quarter of parliament and has to find allies to govern. A national election could follow, and polls say the opposition Likud party may make big gains.
There are two other candidates: Avi Dichter, the Internal Security Minister, and the Minister for Tourism, Meir Sheetrit.
Critical will be the number of Kadima’s 74, 000 members who vote. A high turnout is thought to favour Livni.