Report: Lau eyes presidency


Tel Aviv’s chief rabbi reportedly plans to run for the Israeli presidency.

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau was expected to announce his candidacy within days to succeed Moshe Katsav, whose term officially ends in July, Ma’ariv reported Thursday. Lau’s office had no immediate comment. Lau is a Holocaust survivor and former Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel.

Already in the race for the presidency, which is largely a ceremonial post decided by Knesset vote, are former Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Labor Party lawmaker Colette Avital. Vice Premier Shimon Peres, who lost to Katsav in the 2000 presidential vote, also is expected to run.

Katsav was forced to suspend himself from duties in January after prosecutors said they would file rape charges against him, although they have not yet done so. Katsav is expected to resign if an indictment is filed, which would trigger an early presidential election.

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