Rivlin set to remain Knesset speaker for now
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Rivlin set to remain Knesset speaker for now

Veteran Likud member likely to step down next year and compete for presidency

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Reuven Rivlin casts his ballot on Tuesday (photo credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash90)
Reuven Rivlin casts his ballot on Tuesday (photo credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash90)

Likud MK Reuven Rivlin will likely continue as speaker of the Knesset once the next coalition is formed, before resigning in 2014 for a run at the presidency, Israel Hayom reported Thursday.

Rivlin, a widely respected member of Likud’s more moderate camp, is seen as a good fit for the job among even political opponents.

Besides his own Likud-Beytenu party, Jewish Home, Yesh Atid and the Labor Party were likely to support Rivlin, the daily said.

In the last four years as speaker, Rivlin has been a constant fixture at the head of the Knesset plenum, wielding his gavel liberally to rein in loud or unruly Knesset members.

The Jerusalem-born veteran Likud member competed for Israel’s presidential office against Shimon Peres in 2007, but withdrew when it became apparent Peres would win by a landslide.

Peres’s seven-year term is to end in the summer of 2014, and the 73-year-old Rivlin is likely to try for the job.

First elected to the Knesset in 1988, Rivlin is the only politician to be named speaker twice, first in 2003-2006 and again in 2009.

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