Israeli presidential election, 1952

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An election to choose the second President of Israel was held in the Knesset on 8 December 1952 following the death of the Israel's first president, Chaim Weizmann on 9 November. Between Weizmann's death and the winner of the election, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, taking office on 16 December, Knesset speaker Yosef Sprinzak served as acting president.


There were four candidates:

Before the election, Albert Einstein was spoken to by Abba Eban about the possibility of becoming President. He declined, explaining, "I have neither the natural ability nor the experience to deal with human beings."[1]


Three rounds of voting were required after no candidate gained an outright majority. Peretz Bernstein dropped out after the second round, with Yitzhak Ben-Zvi elected in the third round.

Candidate Affiliation Votes
First round Second round Third round
Yitzhak Ben-Zvi Mapai 48 48 62
Mordechai Nurock Mizrachi 15 15 40
Yitzhak Gruenbaum Independent 17 18 5
Peretz Bernstein General Zionists 18 18
Blank ballots 12 12 5
Total 110 111 112


  1. ^ Israel: Einstein declines Time, 1 December 1952

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