The Kadima elections - who will win?

September 16, 2008

Profiles of the two front runners of the Kadima elections.

Tzipi Livni

Born in Tel Aviv in 1958 to former Irgun leaders, Tzipora Malka Livni served as an IDF lieutenant before working for Mossad from 1980 to1984. An attorney by profession, she received her law degree from Bar Ilan University before practising for 10 years in a private firm.

From 1996 to 1999 she held the position of Director General of the Government Companies Authority, and was first elected to the Knesset as a Likud member in 1999, serving as a member of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and the Committee on the Status of Women.

In 2001 Livni held the Regional Cooperation and Agriculture Portfolios. In 2003, she held the portfolios of Immigrant Absorption, Housing and Construction, Justice and Foreign Affairs. In late 2005 she joined the Kadima Party, formed by then-premier Ariel Sharon.

In May 2006 she was appointed Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. In May 2007 she called for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's resignation in the wake of the publication of the Winograd Commission's interim report, and offered herself as an alternative leader of Kadima. She is married with two children.

Shaul Mofaz

Born in Iran in 1948 and moved to Israel with his family in 1957. He began his long and distinguished career in the Israeli army in 1966 when he joined as part of the paratrooper unit. He participated in the Six Day War after which he became a commander.

He served in the Yom Kippur war, the 1982 Lebanon war and Operation Entebbe, the daring raid to rescue Israeli hostages in Uganda. During the 1982 Operation Peace for Galilee, he was an infantry brigade commander.

He has a BA in business administration from Bar-Ilan university and also attended the US Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Virginia. Mofaz, who is married with four children, was appointed IDF Chief of Staff in 1998 and became Minister of Defence in 2002 in Ariel Sharon's government before following him when he formed the Kadima party. Elected to the 17th Knesset in 2006, he was made Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transportation and Road Safety.




Last updated: 5:04pm, March 2 2009