He has held almost every senior position in Israel but he has never been president. Now however political veteran Shimon Peres is launching a second bid for the job, at the age of 83. “I have decided to answer calls to be a candidate for the presidency,” the elder statesman confirmed. He had already received the backing of the ruling Kadima Party.
At the forefront of Israeli politics for decades, Peres is currently his country’s vice premier. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, opinion polls show most Israelis want him to be head of state. But parliament elects the president and last time he tried for the job he was beaten by Moshe Katsav. Katsav’s term in office is ending amid scandal. Accused of sexual offences including rape, he denies any wrongdoing.