Israeli presidential election, 2007
Shimon Peres, a former Prime Minister and a member of the Kadima party, was elected by the Knesset as the next President of Israel on 13 June 2007. His opponents were Reuven Rivlin, a former Knesset speaker, of the Likud Party, and Colette Avital, of the Labor party. After the first round of voting put Peres in a commanding lead, but just short of the absolute majority required for election, Rivlin and Avital bowed out and Peres was elected easily in the second round.
Shimon Peres: 58 votes
Reuven Rivlin: 37 votes
Colette Avital: 21 votes
Shimon Peres: 86 votes
The deadline for candidates to announce their intention to run was twenty days before the election, i.e. by 25 May.
Avital was the first Labor candidate to officially announce her intention to run. She gained the backing of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who at the time was running an ultimately successful campaign to regain the leadership of the Labor Party. However, it appeared that most Labor MKs were likely to back ex-Laborite Shimon Peres, who was then serving as Vice Prime Minister.
Peres, however, was advised not to stand by his campaign adviser, in the belief that he would not win enough votes in a secret ballot, and that a defeat would be bad for his image. This came after the legislation for the "Peres Law", which would replace a secret ballot with an open one, was postponed until after the election by its creator, Kadima's Yoel Hasson. The bill was seen as a means of protecting Peres from another upset defeat, after his loss to then-little known Likud MK Moshe Katsav by a 63-57 vote in the 2000 presidential election. Nevertheless, Peres was named as Kadima's official candidate on 28 May, and won the support of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the influential spiritual leader of Shas.
Other persons who had been considered as possible candidates included Dalia Itzik (Kadima), Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor), Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, and Meir Shamgar. Rabbi Lau had been warned not to run for the post by Labor MK and former journalist Shelly Yachimovich. Yachimovich stated that were Lau to run, "certain stories from the past may arise, including some that have never been publicized."
The election was expected to be a close race between Peres and Rivlin. However, the first-round results left Peres only three votes short of a majority, at which point his opponents conceded the race. Following his election, Peres promptly resigned as Vice Prime Minister, and began his seven-year term as President on July 15, 2007.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Israeli presidential election, 2007