6 candidates officially register to kick off Israel’s presidential campaignBy Mason White 2:43 PM May 28, 2014
|From left to right: Ben Eliezer, Dorner, Itzik,
Rivlin, Shitrit, Shechtman
By: Aryeh Savir
Six candidates began their campaigns to be elected as Israel’s next president, the Tazpit News Agency reported.
The six Israeli leaders have submitted their candidacy on Tuesday.
The candidates are MK Ruby Rivlin of Likud, MK Binyamin Ben Eliezer of Labor, former MK Dalya Itzik, MK Meir Shitrit of Kadima, Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Dan Shechtman and former judge Dalya Dorner.
Each candidate was required to collect ten signatures from members of the Knesset as a requirement to enter the race. The candidates marched to the office of Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein and submitted the registry forms.
The two leading candidates are currently Rivlin and Ben Eliezer. The race has become a passionate, and at times a vicious affair, with supporters and lobbyists working to sling mud at opponents.
The uses of private investigators have been mentioned, bringing Knesset Chairman Edelstein to voice his aversion to these actions, stating: “I regret, and I am sure that we all regret the manner in which the race has been defined by slanders and de-legitimization. The President’s Institution is an important one in my opinion and serves as a symbol of the nation’s unity, especially during periods of crisis and conflict.”
There were expectations that a seventh candidate would join the race, possibly former Foreign Minister David Levy, but that didn’t materialize. It is still unknown which candidate PM Netanyahu will support.
Several ministers and MKs view the president’s position as unnecessary and began to prepare for the cancellation of the position. They have so far been unsuccessful.
A poll published by Haaretz has MK Rivlin leading as Israel’s favorite candidate for presidency with 31% support. He is followed by Prof. Shechtman with 22%, Former judge Dorner with 11%, MK Ben Eliezer with only 10%, and lastly, MK’s Itzik and Shitrit with only 4% each.
The president will be elected by the 120 members of Knesset next month.