Retired Supreme Court justice joins presidential race

Retired Supreme Court justice joins presidential race

Dalia Dorner, who served between 1993 and 2004, is known as an advocate for human rights

Retired Supreme Court justice Dalia Dorner filed her candidacy Monday for the presidential race to succeed Shimon Peres.

Dorner, 80, received the 10 signatures from members of Knesset required to run for the presidency. The president will be picked by the 120 Knesset members in a confidential vote.

She was the second woman to announce her candidacy after former minister Dalia Itzik threw her hat into the ring.

Tuesday is the final day for presidential hopefuls to submit their candidacy to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. The vote is set for June 10.

Dorner served as Supreme Court Justice between 1993 and 2004. In that role she developed a reputation for being a strong advocate of human rights. She also issued a ruling that promoted the integration of children with special needs into Israeli mainstream schools.

The race to find a successor to the incumbent Peres, whose term ends on July 27, has been marred by scandal and controversy over recent several months.

Earlier this month, Hebrew media reported that Netanyahu was aiming to postpone the elections for up to six months, during which time he could push through a law abolishing the presidential office — an idea quickly shot down by Finance Minister Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid, a key coalition partner.

Two week ago, a negative campaign video targeting front-runner candidate Reuven Rivlin (Likud) was sent anonymously via email to all of the 120 Knesset members.

The video purported to show Rivlin grouped alongside “top machers” — a Yiddish word that can be roughly translate as “wheeler dealer” — including the recently sentenced former prime minister Ehud Olmert, the incarcerated former president Moshe Katsav, and former finance minister Avraham Hirchson, who served time for embezzlement. The clip also features news clippings about Rivlin from the past, and features the caption, “How much does it cost to buy a Knesset member in Israel?”

Meanwhile, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor), another top candidate, was accused of gambling in London between 1999 and 2002, during his tenures as deputy prime minister, communications minister, housing minister and defense minister.

National Infrastructures Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud) backed out of the race in the wake of allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman who worked under him 15 years ago when he served as science minister. The allegations were not substantiated, a preliminary investigation was closed and no case opened.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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