The moment of truth has come for Kadima. On Tuesday morning at 10 A.M. around 200 polling stations opened across Israel and 95,000 party members went to choose Kadima’s leader for the next national elections. The primaries pit the party’s chairperson for the past three and a half years, Tzipi Livni, against MK Shaul Mofaz, and the contest could be decided by a razor-thin margin.
The moral of the primaries’ story will become clear only after results are announced early Wednesday morning: either Mofaz’s supporters will have delivered the goods, or party independents will have turned up en masse at the polling stations to ensure that Livni continues in her current role
“We’ve reached the moment of truth,” Mofaz declared on Monday. “I feel confident, but we can’t be apathetic. I hear the forecasts about a low turnout at the polls, and I call upon all party members - come and vote! Come take part in the process of change; this must happen on Tuesday because we won’t have another chance.”
In a recorded message, Livni called on party members to support her: “This is a struggle for all of us - Israelis, Zionists who want to live and raise our children in an advanced, free country. Should we let despair and apathy keep us at home, we are liable to wake up in the morning and find a leader who doesn’t really represent and doesn’t really promise a change from Netanyahu.”
Basing an estimate on past experiences with primaries, Kadima can expect 40%-50% voter turnout on Tuesday. Insiders believe that a low turnout will help Mofaz, whereas Livni has a fighting chance should turnout approach 50%.
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