SFor the first time since Golda Meir stepped down in 1974, a woman could become Israeli Prime Minister, the BBC reports. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, a former lawyer and spy for Mossad (the Israeli CIA equivalent), has won the leadership of the centrist Kadima party, the current ruling party in the Knesset, Israel's parliament. (The reason Livni will not necessarily become Prime Minister is complicated, but here's a summary.) Now that Livni has won the Kadima election - current PM Ehud Olmert is resigning amidst accusations of widespread corruption - she has 42 days to assemble a coalition of at least 61 of the Knesset's 120 seats from what the BBC describes as Israel's "mosaic of political parties." If Livni fails to gather this coalition, the President may give someone else another 42 days to come up with his or her own coalition, but more likely a general election of all the parties will take place in 3 months.Livni could run up against trouble from certain factions of the Knesset, specifically the Shas party, because it advocates a hard-line stance against Palestine, and also wants even more child welfare because of that group's large families, the IHT notes. Livni is against an increase in child welfare allowances. The BBC reports that Livni is much less hawkish than her primary rival, Shaul Mofaz, and has a strong foreign relations background — something that could aid her in potential peace talks with Palestinians. However, according to Al Jazeera, Palestinians are not confident that Livni's leadership would create a positive change for them. "They're all war criminals," a Palestinian woman tells Al Jazeera of the potential Israeli PMs. Livni Wins Israel Party Primary [BBC] Q&A: Israeli Leadership Change [BBC] Israeli Foreign Minister In Position To Become Prime Minister [IHT] Video: Palestinians Despondent As Israeli Polls Near [YouTube via Al Jazeera]
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