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2 Jun, 2021 11:06

Herzog elected Israel’s new president with 87 votes, as midnight deadline looms for opposition to oust Netanyahu

Herzog elected Israel’s new president with 87 votes, as midnight deadline looms for opposition to oust Netanyahu

Isaac Herzog has been elected Israel’s eleventh president, winning a sizeable majority of 87 votes from the Knesset’s 120 seats. The vote comes as several parties race to form a new government before midnight.

On Wednesday, Isaac Herzog beat Miriam Peretz, a social activist and prize-winning educator, to win the presidency and succeed Reuven Rivlin when his term ends on July 9. Herzog, who had been touted as the favorite, won 87 votes from the 120 MKs. 

Three MKs abstained, three votes were disqualified, and one MK did not vote. Peretz herself won 26 votes.

Herzog will become the first Israeli president to be the son of a president himself. His father, Chaim Herzog, was Israel’s sixth president, holding power between 1983 and 1993.

The vote comes as opposition parties draw ever nearer to ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has held the post for 12 years. An opposition coalition has been given until midnight on Wednesday to form a new government after Netanyahu himself failed to do so. 

Also on rt.com Netanyahu’s party loses last-minute bid to stop rivals forming new Israeli government

A coalition led by centrist Yair Lapid from the Yesh Atid party has seen its chances of presenting a united group bolstered by the support of several parties, including the Blue and White, led by Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

In a joint statement, Yesh Atid and Blue and White said they had “agreed on the outlines of the government and core issues relating to the strengthening of democracy and Israeli society.”

Lapid, a 57-year-old former TV host and author, still needs to reach a deal with nationalist Naftali Bennett, who would be the main partner in the coalition.

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