Likud Party Knesset Member, former Knesset Speaker and political stalwart Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin on Tuesday afternoon won a Knesset electoral vote to become the 10th President of the State of Israel.
Rivlin’s political record is available on the Knesset web site.
The final tally was announced by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein at 3:15 pm local time from the Knesset plenum, after a quick vote.
Rivlin took 63 out of 119 votes in the secret ballot, beating out Ha’tnua Party Knesset Member Meir Sheetrit with 53 votes.
Rivlin led the first round of voting which began at 11:00 am with 44 votes, coming in ahead of Sheetrit’s 31 votes.
Dalia Itzik of the Labor Party, who received 28 votes, said afterward that she was backing Sheetrit with her votes.
Non-politicians former Supreme Court justice (1993 – 2004) Dalia Dorner received 13 votes, and Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Dan Schectman received one vote.
The second round of voting ended at 2:50, and the ballot box was taken by a three member panel of Knesset Members to count the votes in a separate room.
At one point the two front-runners posed together with other Knesset members and smiled in “selfie” cameraphone shots, somewhat breaking the political tensions in the plenum, where the voting took place.
“I hope the image of the two candidates shaking hands and taking a selfie will characterize our relations,” Edelstein said at the conclusion of the second round of voting.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in brief comments after the tally was announced, said, “I look forward to working with the new president for the sake of the unity of Israel and the people of Israel.”
Rivlin will replace outgoing President Shimon Peres, who steps down in July after seven-years in the ceremonial role.