Dalia Itzik Named Acting President of Israel

(January 25, 2007)

By a vote of 13 to 11, the Knesset House Committee decided to grant President Moshe Katsav’s request for a temporary suspension of three months, effective immediately. During that time, MK Dalia Itzik will serve as the acting president. The vote came in the wake of revelations that at least four women say the president committed varying degrees of sexual assault and reports suggested Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz is preparing to indict Katsav on one or more charges.

MK Michael Eitan (Likud) said that the temporary suspension law had been introduced during the time of former president Ezer Weizman to withhold the president’s duties for the duration of the investigation against him, while avoiding permanently punishing a potentially innocent man.

Katsav will continue to receive pay, but will not take part in any of his presidential duties during the suspension. The president will also retain his immunity.

Many members of the Knesset remain determined to force Katsav to resign or to impeach him.

Source: Jerusalem Post, (January 25, 2007)