Isaac Herzog elected as Israel’s 11th president, will take office in July

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June 2 (UPI) — Isaac Herzog was elected on Wednesday as Israel’s 11th president in a secret ballot of 120 lawmakers in the Knesset and will succeed Reuven Rivlin next month.

Herzog received 87 votes to opponent Miriam Peretz’s 27. Herzog will replace Rivlin on July 9, when he will begin a seven-year term.

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Herzog’s father Chaim Herzog was Israel’s sixth president between 1983 and 1993.

“I will be president of everyone,” he said, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Herzog’s was the largest victory in any presidential election in Israeli history. Wednesday’s was the first presidential election in which none of the candidates were from the Knesset.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Herzog for winning the post, which many observers consider mainly a symbolic position. The prime minister is Israel’s chief head of state.

Herzog, 60, is former head of Israel’s Labor Party and unsuccessfully ran against Netanyahu in the 2013 parliamentary elections. His uncle Abba Eban was Israel’s first foreign minister and ambassador to the United States and his grandfather was the country’s first chief rabbi.

Since leaving the Knesset in 2018, Herzog has led the Jewish Agency, a nonprofit that works to promote immigration.