Rivlin set to remain Knesset speaker for now

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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