The strongest candidates to lead Israel's Kadima party
Israel's ruling Kadima party is to choose a successor to party leader Ehud Olmert, 62, on September 17. A possible runoff election is scheduled for September 24, reported dpa.
The leading candidates in the party elections are:
Tzipi Livni - Israel's foreign minister and Olmert's strongest rival is a former agent for Israeli's intelligence service, Mossad. For several months now, Livni has been leading peace negotiations with the Palestinians and is regarded as moderate and direct. She has two sons and plays the drums in her free time.
Shaul Mofaz - Transport minister and deputy prime minister has a strong military background. He has served as army chief of staff and defence minister and is seen as a "security expert" and Kadima right-winger. He has openly threatened military action against Iran. The father of four was born in Iran in 1948.
Avi Dichter - Public security minister and former chief of Shin Bet, Israel's internal intelligence agency. The 55-year-old is the son of Holocaust survivors and is seen as security orientated. In late 2007, Dichter cancelled a trip to Britain for fear he might be arrested on war crimes charges over Israel's bombing of the home of a military leader from the Islamic Palestinian Hamas movement some five years earlier in which civilians were killed.
Meir Sheetrit - Interior minister who immigrated to Israel with his family from Morocco at the age of 10. The 59-year-old, who studied political science and has completed a doctorate, is considered moderate but less influential.