Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be replaced as Kadima leader in mid-September, barring unforeseen circumstances, after the Kadima council received the necessary votes on Monday to initiate a party leadership primary.
It took 12 days of voting, but a majority of the council's 180 members voted to change the party's constitution to allow the primary to take place. The next step is for Kadima's election committee to set a date for the primary and a mid-August deadline for potential candidates to join the race.
Sources close to Olmert said he would likely wait until the last possible moment to announce that he is not running in order to minimize the time that he would be considered a lame duck. Olmert's associates said there was almost no chance that he would run, because he is aware that he would have no chance of winning.
The damage that Olmert has done to his country and his people probably won't really be known for years. It remains to be seen whether his successor (probably Livni) will be able to forestall new elections and keep Kadima in power and whether the changing of the guard will actually signal the dawn or a new day or just more of the same.