The exist of Prime Minister Olmert will be accompanied by the entry of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who will soon become the new prime minister. The undecided question is whether Livni will work toward building bridges of peace with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. As a first step Livni met with Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak who is expected to play a key role in any coalition government that emerges provided Livni and he can put aside their personal conflicts with one another. Barak has been assured of a “full partnership” with Livni.
Creating a coalition government that is strong enough to withstand pressure from right wing groups which oppose meaningful compromises with Palestinian leaders is the greatest challenge confronting Livni. She is still attempting to cope with the apparent anger of Shaul Mofaz’s announcement that after losing the fight to become the party leader, he is leaving the political world.