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13 Jun, 2007 08:58

Peres elected new president of Israel

The Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, which was left with only one candidate to be considered for the country's president, has elected Shimon Peres for the post.

The original list had a choice of three – the 83-year-old veteran of Israeli politics, Shimon Peres, of the ruling Kadima party, Likud's Reuven Rivlin, a law-maker and a former parliamentary speaker, and Colette Avital , a legislator representing the Labour Party.

But after the first round two candidates withdrew from the vote, leaving the way clear for the Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres, saying they would back his candidacy. 

Peres was elected in the second round, which turned into a yes-or-no vote.

The  president is elected for this mainly ceremonial post for a seven- year term. Peres is to take office on June 15.

He replaces Moshe Katsav, who is facing allegations of rape. Katsav denies all the charges against him.