Israel's Foreign Affairs Minister, Tzipi Livni, has won her bid to succeed Ehud Olmert as leader of Israel's Kadima Party. Livni needed 40% of her party's vote to win and she nearly won 50% defeating Israel's Minister of Transporation Shaul Mofaz.
Livni now must form a coalition government subject to the approval of the Knesset. If she does elections will not be held until 2010 hence giving her time to establish herself as a credible head of government. At this point, anyone would be an improvement over Olmert. On the other hand if she cannot form a government then elections would be held early next year giving Benjamin Netanyahu a distinct advantage. In which case, Olmert would remain in power until after the election. If Livni can't form a government then Israelis will not have the confidence to cast a ballot for her.
Currently, Livni serves as the Israeli government's chief negotiator with the Palestinian Authority.
Should Livni be able to form a government she would become Israel's second female Prime Minister. Golda Meir served in that role from 1969 to 1973.