Israeli Lawmakers Elect New President, Isaac Herzog

Even because the nation and its Parliament remained deeply divided over the formation of a brand new authorities, Israeli lawmakers got here collectively on Wednesday to elect a brand new president, Isaac Herzog, a former chief of the Labor social gathering and authorities minister.

Displaying a uncommon diploma of consensus in a secret poll, they voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Herzog, who at the moment serves because the chairman of the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency for Israel, which helps take care of immigration, interacts with the Jewish diaspora and runs social applications.

The president performs a principally symbolic position as a nationwide unifier in Israel’s fractious parliamentary democracy, the place the prime minister wields essentially the most energy.

One of a president’s fundamental tasks is to grant a candidate the duty of forming a authorities after elections. In Israel’s present, fragmented politics, which have produced 4 inconclusive elections in two years, that includes greater than the standard stage of talent, authorized interpretation and discretion.

The president may play an essential position in Israeli diplomacy and has the facility to pardon convicted criminals and train clemency by decreasing or commuting sentences.

Mr. Herzog, 60, the grandson of the primary chief rabbi of Israel and the son of one of many nation’s earlier presidents, Chaim Herzog, will take over from the present president, Reuven Rivlin, in July.

“Our challenges are many and should not be taken lightly,” Mr. Herzog mentioned in his acceptance speech. “I intend to be the president of all Israelis, to lend an attentive ear to every position and respect every person.”