press reports in Jerusalem. The Foreign Minister and ex-Mossad agent Tzipi Livni, pictured here, is heading exit polls tonight and tipped to win the party leadership. Will this dubious duo thwart her ascent and let Bibi grab power? Kadima, which means forward, is not taken aback by the rumors by the rightwing website. It may be wishful thinking on their part. But anything is possible.
Elections were underway Wednesday to determine the next leader of Kadima, replacing the resigning current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Under normal circumstances the winner of the Kadima election would automatically replace Olmert as prime minister and attempt to establish a new parliamentary majority.
But unnamed sources told the Israeli Web site DEBKAfile.com that Barak, a member of the Labor Party, and Netanyahu are having secret discussions to form a Labor-Likud majority coalition and deny the premiership to the next Kadima leader.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz are the favorites to succeed Olmert as Kadima Party leader.
DEBKAfile's sources say under a Barak-Netanyahu deal to be presented to Israel's president, the Likud leader would become prime minister and serve until a general election at the end of next year, and after that would hand off the premiership to Barak.