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      After Labor Vote, Kadima Rivals Seek Primaries

      Rivals of Kadima chair Tzipi Livni want to hold primaries soon, following MK Yechimovich’s Labor party victory.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 9/27/2011, 4:17 PM

      MK Tzipi Livni
      MK Tzipi Livni
      Flash 90

      MK Shelly Yechimovich’s successful bid to take control of the Labor party has apparently inspired her counterparts in Kadima to attempt to do the same. According to Maariv, MK Meir Sheetrit has already asked Kadima head and Opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni to hold primaries earlier than planned.

      Sheetrit reportedly spoke in the names of MKs Avi Dichter and Shaul Mofaz as well.

      Livni is said to have declined an offer to meet with the three to discuss a date for primaries, saying instead that she would like more time to think about it. Sheetrit had asked to hold primaries at some point in early 2012.

      Sheetrit argued that primary elections would rejuvenate the party and give a potential new party head plenty of time to prepare for the next national elections.

      Livni beat Mofaz by a scant 431 votes in the 2008 primaries, and won after exit polls released before voting ended misled voters into believing that she had scored a definite victory. She went on to lead Kadima to victory in the national elections, but was unable to translate the party’s status as the largest Knesset faction to leadership of the national coalition, and was left in the opposition while Likud head Binyamin Netanyahu became Prime Minister.

      Netanyahu has invited Kadima to join him in a unity coalition, an offer Livni has refused.