Israeli Parliament to Vote on New President on Wednesday

A view of Jerusalem's Old City | Photo: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun
A general view shows the Dome of the Rock and Jerusalem's Old City December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun *** Local Caption *** 07.12.17 09.04.18

The Israeli parliament will vote on Wednesday to elect a new president who will replace 81-year-old Reuven Rivlin in this largely symbolic post.

Only two candidates succeeded in securing the endorsement of enough lawmakers. Isaac Herzog, 60, is a former opposition leader and head of the world’s largest Jewish nonprofit called the Jewish Agency for Israel. Miriam Peretz, 67, is a lecturer on Zionism.

Rivlin is not eligible to run again after serving seven years in office. His term expires on July 9. His successor will inherit a deadlocked nation that has had four inconclusive elections in two years.

The president’s main job is to hold consultations with party leaders after legislative elections and select a candidate who will try and form a new government.

A coalition of a centrist and a small far-right party has recently emerged, looking to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu. They have until June 23 to form a new government, failing which a fifth election will be called.

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