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Knesset elects former speaker Rivlin as Israel's president

By Michael Schwartz, CNN
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (right) with newly-elected President Reuven Rivlin at the Knesset on June 9, 2014 in Jerusalem.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (right) with newly-elected President Reuven Rivlin at the Knesset on June 9, 2014 in Jerusalem.

(CNN) -- Israel's parliament on Tuesday elected its former speaker Reuven "Rubi" Rivlin to be the country's 10th President, a mainly ceremonial post that he'll take when current President Shimon Peres' term ends in July.

The Knesset elected Rivlin, a 74-year-old member of the center-right Likud party, in two rounds of voting. Rivlin defeated Meir Shitreet of the Movement Party in the final round.

Though the Israel president is head of state, the post is basically ceremonial, and much more political power lies with the Prime Minister -- a post currently held by Benjamin Netanyahu.

READ: Opinion: Israel, Kerry is one of your best friends

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