At least six candidates will run in Israel’s presidential election, setting a new record.
In another first, at least two of the six candidates are women.
To be nominated for the election, which will be held among Israel’s 120 Knesset members on June 10, candidates must acquire signatures of at least 10 Knesset members. The deadline for acquiring signatures is Tuesday. The winner of the election will replace Shimon Peres, who completes his seven-year term in July.
So far, according to Haaretz, six candidates have gotten the requisite signatures, double the three candidates who ran in the 2007 election.
The candidates include Likud MK Reuven Rivlin — thought to be the front-runner — as well as Labor MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Hatnua MK Meir Sheetrit. Former Kadima MK Dalia Itzik, retired Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner and 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry laureate Dan Shechtman are also running.
The first female candidate to ever run for president, former Labor MK Colette Avital, came in third in the 2007 election, behind Peres and Rivlin, the runner-up. Peres replaced Moshe Katsav, who resigned the post to face trial for rape and sexual harassment.