Kadima Officials Expect Livni to Win No. 2 Spot Behind Olmert

Party sources predict Peres will not be appointed foreign minister assuming Olmert forms next government.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will win the No. 2 spot on Kadima's Knesset list, senior officials in the party predicted Sunday night.

They said that as long as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon headed the party, Livni was slated to get the third spot, after Ehud Olmert. But now that Olmert is acting prime minister and will apparently be chosen as Kadima chairman in the next few days, Livni is expected to move up a spot.

The officials also predicted that MK Shimon Peres will not be appointed foreign minister in the next government, assuming that Olmert will be the one to form it. The Foreign Ministry portfolio will be controlled by Kadima, they said, but Peres would likely get "a senior, central and influential post related to the subject that interests him more than any other: negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians."

Due to his age, Peres is not likely to be appointed deputy prime minister if Olmert is elected prime minister, the officials added.

Peres said Sunday at a conference in Jerusalem that, "Olmert is the acting prime minister and I will give him my full support, loyalty and warmth, without any maneuvering."