After two months of fierce political campaigning, Israel’s new president will be elected by a Knesset vote this morning at 11 am Yerushalayim time, marking the end of what many are calling the dirtiest campaign in the history for Israel’s most respected public office.
Likud candidate Reuven Rivlin seems to be a favorite in the days leading up to the vote, but competition is tough as he faces off against former Supreme Court justice Dalia Dorner, Professor Dan Shechtman, Hatnua front-man Meir Sheetrit, and former Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik.
The first round of voting is expected to last some two-and-a-half hours. The race could feasibly be concluded at that point, as long as one of the candidates receives 61 votes from the MKs.
If no one candidate receives the required number of votes, the second round will take place between the two front-runners. The winner will then be chosen based on a simple majority vote during the second round.
The two month long campaign was marred by several scandals, one of which left front-runner Silvan Shalom by the wayside after allegations surfaced from around 15 years ago.
Labor MK Binyomin Ben-Eliezer was taken in for questioning by police just four days before the vote, which resulted in his withdrawal from the campaign. Allegations against Ben-Eliezer center on large sums of money he received during his time as a member of Knesset.