Jerusalem Israel's foreign minister won a narrow victory early today for the Kadima Party's leadership post, giving her the chance to be the country's first female leader in 34 years and sending a message that peace talks with the Palestinians will proceed.
The 50-year-old Tzipi Livni declared victory in the contest by a margin of 431 votes, besting former defense minister and military chief Shaul Mofaz.
Livni will replace Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as head of Kadima. Olmert, the target of a career-ending corruption probe, promised to step down as soon as a new Kadima leader was chosen.
The "national responsibility (bestowed) by the public brings me to approach this job with great reverence," said Livni, who now gets a chance to set up Israel's next government.