Livni Running Out of Options, and Time

Seems unlikely vote winner will become Israel's next PM
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2009 6:42 AM CST
Tzipi Livni reacts as she stand under a sign reading Kadima, during election night rally in Tel Aviv, Israel, early Wednesday morning Feb. 11, 2009.   (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)
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(Newser) – Though her party nabbed first place in Tuesday's Israeli election, Tzipi Livni seems to have shelved her long-shot effort to become the country's next prime minister. The question that remains, writes the Los Angeles Times, is whether she will join forces with Benjamin Netanyahu or go into opposition. "Livni, the moral winner of the election, has to make the strategic decision," said one political analyst.

A coalition led by Netanyahu would likely include the hard-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, whose platform many call anti-Arab, as well as ultra-Orthodox parties. Yesterday Livni said that she would not join a right-wing religious government. But a senior official within her Kadima Party told Haaretz that they would probably join the government eventually, with Livni retaining her old job of foreign minister.