Livni Claims Win in Race to Succeed Olmert

She would be Israel's first female PM since Golda Meir
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2008 5:51 PM CDT
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni celebrates after voting today.    (AP Photo/Alon Ron)
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(Newser) – Tzipi Livni declared victory today in her party's primary and is on track to become Israel's first female prime minister in more than 30 years, Reuters reports. Livini, currently the foreign minister, comfortably won the Kadima Party election to decide who will replace scandal-plagued Ehud Olmert. Final results aren't yet in, but she apparently received far more than enough votes to avoid a runoff.

"The good guys won," Livni told supporters. Olmert, who called Livni to congratulate her, has said he may stay on in a caretaker role until Livni assembles her own coalition government, a process that could take several weeks. The 50-year-old Livni is a former corporate lawyer, a mother of two, and a one-time intelligence agent for Mossad. She favors a quick peace resolution with Palestinians.