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February 10, 2016 / 1 Adar I, 5776
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Israeli Presidential Election, The Sequel: Stay Tuned for Round 2

Rivin and Sheetrit will face off in Round 2 next week for Israel's presidential runoff.
Israeli presidential candidate and former Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin speaks with media during vote for president, June 10, 2014.

Israeli presidential candidate and former Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin speaks with media during vote for president, June 10, 2014.
Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90

Nothing is ever simple in the Land of Israel.

On Tuesday morning, Israel’s presidential election came down to a hodgepodge of a vote that left the Knesset vote up in the air — like many committee decisions.

In this first poll, there were two invalid ballots out of a possible 120 Knesset vote.

Front-runner MK Reuven Rivlin received 44 votes, and his closest competitor was MK Meir Sheetrit, with 31.

Former Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik came in third with 28 votes, followed by former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner, with 13.

Nobel laureate Professor Dan Shechtman was out of the running entirely, having received only one vote.

All of the candidates – except Sheetrit – made their financial records public immediately following allegations of fiscal misconduct by MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who suddenly dropped out of the race on Saturday as a result of the investigation against him.

MK Silvan Shalom withdrew from the race even earlier, after being accused of sexual misconduct in an incident some 15 years ago.

The next round of voting will take place in one week from today – next Tuesday, June 17, in a runoff election between MK Reuven Rivlin and MK Meir Sheetrit.

The winner of that contest is expected to be announced at 5:00 p.m. that same afternoon by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, followed by a reception at the Knesset for the new president-elect.

If all goes well, on July 24, the successor to President Shimon Peres will become the 10th president of the State of Israel and be sworn into office.

About the Author: Rachel Levy is a freelance journalist who has written for Jewish publications in New York, New Jersey and Israel.


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