Shimon Peres again on Friday denied any intention of running for office in the upcoming Israeli elections and said he plans on finishing his term as president.
Haaretz reported Thursday that former Kadima party chief Tzipi Livni had urged the president over several weeks to resign his post and contend in the January 22 elections as head of a center-left party.
Before boarding a plane in Moscow on Friday, Peres said the Haaretz report was based on speculation, and that he had never spoken about the issue.
The president told reporters on Wednesday that he had no interest in returning to politics.
“I thank those people who support and put their confidence in me, but I’m already serving the people and the country, and have been doing so for the past five years,” Peres said. “I will continue to fill that role for as long as necessary.”
Livni, who has yet to declare her intentions vis-a-vis the elections, is reportedly uncomfortable running as former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s No. 2 (should he decide to return to politics), but is fine with playing second fiddle to Peres.
Contrary to the president’s denials, political sources claiming to be privy to his conversations with Livni said that Peres has not ruled out the possibility of running in the upcoming elections, but that he has not responded in the affirmative either.