Kadima Primaries: Dalia Itzik Wins

Following Livni and Mofaz in their reserved top slots will be Knesset Speaker Itzik, Tzachi HaNegbi, Bar-On, Boim, Sheetrit and Dichter.

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Hillel Fendel,

Dalia Itzik
Dalia Itzik

The Kadima primaries ended at midnight Tuesday night, and outgoing Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik came out the winner.  She will thus be third on the party's list of Knesset candidates, following party chairperson Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Transportation Minister Sha'ul Mofaz, whose top rankings had been guaranteed,

Itzik was followed by former Likud-member Tzachi HaNegbi, who generally did very well in the Likud primaries as well.  In fifth place will be Finance Minister Roni Bar-On, despite the fact that he is suspected of having voted twice during a Knesset vote several years ago, and despite his recent one-man stand against a security blanket for failing pension plans.

Ministers Ze'ev Boim, Meir Sheetrit, and Ruchama Avraham finished next, and they will occupy the 6th, 7th, and 8th slots on the party's list of Knesset candidates.  Next are Avi Dichter and Marina Solodkin.

In the top ten are thus eight former Likud members and one ex-Laborite (Itzik). Dichter joined politics after Kadima was formed.

The top twenty spots are as follows:

1 -  Tzipi Livni
2 -  Sha'ul Mofaz
3 -  Dalia Itzik
4 -  Tzachi HaNegbi
5 -  Roni Bar-On
6 -  Ze'ev Boim
7 -  Meir Sheetrit
8 -  Ruchama Avraham
9 -  Avi Dichter
10 - Marina Solodkin
11 - Yoel Hasson
12 - Gideon Ezra
13 - Yaakov Edry
14 - Eli Aflalo
15 - Ze'ev Bielski
16 - Ronit Tirosh
17 - Chaim Ramon
18 - Nachman Shai
19 - Shlomo Mula
20 - Robert Tivayev

MK Shai Hermesh will be in slot 24, while nationalist MK Otniel Shneller fell to 27.  Knesset Law Committee Chairman Menachem Ben-Sasson tumbled to 35, indicating that he will not be in the next Knesset, and MK David Tal toppled to 39.

Kadima Picking Up in the Polls
Recent polls show Kadima recovering some of its lost strength, still not catching up to the Likud but leading Labor by a wide margin. Kadima currently has 29 MKs; a poll last month showed it would gain only 23, but a this week's poll says 25.

Approximately 44% of the party's 80,000 members voted - less than the percentage in both the Likud's and Labor's recent primaries.  Some 70% of the party's Arab members took part in the vote.

In Jerusalem, 40% of the party's members voted, while in Tel Aviv, it was 47%.

No technical glitches marred the primaries, though Kadima used the same computer system as was used by the Likud - and which caused Likud voters very long lines and delays.