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Shapira likely to become new state comptroller
By LAHAV HARKOV
14/05/2012
Though the justice is openly supported by most of the Knesset ahead of Monday's election, a hidden ballot may bring surprises.
 
Judge Joseph Shapira is openly supported by most of the Knesset ahead of Monday’s state comptroller election, but the vote by hidden ballot may bring surprises.

Shapira, a Jerusalem District Court judge, is considered the likely victor in the comptroller race. MK Yariv Levin (Likud) and Kadima faction chairwoman Dalia Itzik officially nominated Shapira earlier this month, with signatures of over 70 MKs from most of the Knesset’s factions, including Likud, Kadima and Yisrael Beytenu.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss officially ends his seven-year term on July 3.

Deputy Supreme Court President Eliezer Rivlin is also seeking the head of the State Comptroller’s Office, with 11 MKs signing his nomination letter, including Labor MKs Isaac Herzog and Eitan Cabel, as well as MK Dov Henin (Hadash).

Although Shapira has far more support on paper, several MKs – mostly from Kadima – said they were pressured by their colleagues to support Rivlin.

One of the reasons legislators mentioned for supporting Rivlin, as opposed to Shapira, is that a candidate who is not openly supported by the coalition’s largest parties can bolster the opposition, which currently makes up less than 25 percent of the Knesset.

Since Monday’s vote is by hidden ballot, parties backing one candidate will not know if their MKs select the other, an MK who spoke on the condition of anonymity explained.

Shlomo Kalderon, president of the Organization of Internal Auditors and the third candidate for state comptroller, is considered unlikely to win, though he has the backing of 12 MKs.

According to Kalderon, he is the most qualified of the three candidates, as he is the only one with experience in a position similar to that of the state comptroller.
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