Israel to hold elections on 10 June

2014-05-19 22:00
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Tel Aviv - Israel's Knesset will elect a new president on 10 June to replace Shimon Peres, parliamentary speaker Yuli Edelstein said on Monday.

Candidates will have eight days to gather at least 10 signatures from members of Knesset in order to be in the running.

"The role of the president is a very important position. The president of the State of Israel is meant to unite the divisions and be a bridge," said Edelstein.

"Unfortunately, and I am sure it is unfortunate for us all, the current race has been defined by mudslinging and de-legitimisation, behaviour which in my view has tainted the process and severely harmed this important institution," he added.

Reuven Rivlin from the right-wing Likud party and Benjamin Ben-Eliezer from the Labor Party are considered the two frontrunners.

Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering supporting Energy Minister Silvan Shalom, also from his Likud party.

Shalom recently faced allegations of sexual misconduct. Israel's presidency is a mostly symbolic position, but the head of state plays a role after each election in tasking a politician with forming the next government.

The president also has powers to pardon criminals.

Read more on:    israel

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