Reuven Rivlin chosen as Israeli president

TIA GOLDENBERG
June 10, 2014
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FILE - In this April 1, 2009, file photo, Israeli President Shimon Peres, left, greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, as Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin stands near during a handover ceremony at Peres' residence in Jerusalem. A nasty race to succeed Shimon Peres as Israel's head of state is finally coming to an end on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, with five candidates facing off in parliament over the right to become the country's next president. (AP Photo/Menahem Kahana, Pool, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's parliament has chosen Reuven Rivlin, a stalwart in the ruling Likud Party, as the country's next president.

It chose Rivlin, a former parliament speaker and Cabinet minister, in a secret runoff ballot Tuesday, over longtime legislator Meir Sheetrit, by 63 to 53.

Rivlin now faces the difficult task of succeeding Shimon Peres, a Nobel peace laureate who brought the position international prestige.

The job of the presidency is largely ceremonial. But Rivlin's political views could be a liability.

He opposes the creation of a Palestinian state, putting him at odds with the international community and even his own prime minister.