"The endorsement significantly increases Rivlin's chances of being elected as president June 10. "
Jerusalem, May 29 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will endorse Reuven Rivlin in next month's presidential election, a spokesperson for his office said Wednesday.

Rivlin, a veteran politician from the right-wing Likud Party, was a former speaker of the Israeli parliament -- the Knesset. He has had bad blood with Netanyahu who initially did not immediately support him.

The Israeli prime minister said he took his time to consider other nominations and see the final list of candidates before making a decision in a conversation with Rivlin Wednesday afternoon, Xinhua reported.

As the prime minister and the Likud chairman, I am expressing my support for your candidacy, Netanyahu told Rivlin over the phone.

We have been through a lot together in our lifetimes. Some days were good, and some not so good, but I hope we will know better days, he said.

The endorsement significantly increases Rivlin's chances of being elected as president June 10.

Members of the Knesset will vote then for their candidates, and whoever gets more than half of the 120 members' votes will be chosen to replace President Shimon Peres July 27.


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