Members of Knesset from across the political spectrum on Tuesday called on President Moshe Katsav to resign, following Attorney General Menachem Mazuz's decision to charge him with sexual crimes, including rape.

Education Minister Yuli Tamir said, "in the present situation it is impossible to educate students to respect the presidential insitution and ask them to hang pictures in every school of a president charged with grave offenses."

Katsav must resign immediately so as "not to embarass the students and the people in the education system," added Tamir.

MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) said that Mazuz's decision to indictment "does not leave President Katsav with a single moment of grace in his position. He must resign immediately, now that he has humiliated the institution of the presidency and the public."

MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) also called on the president to resign immediately, to "put an end to the disgraceful spectacle of a suspect charged with such grave offenses continuing to stand at the head of the presidential institution."

The chairman of the Knesset State Control Committee, MK Zevulun Orlev (National Union-National Religious Party), said the recommendation for indictment marked "a sad day for the state and its citizens, as well as for the institution of presidency."

The National Religious Party-National Union made an official call for the president to fulfill his obligation and resign immediately from his position.

MK Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) called the charges against the president a grave matter, and said too much consideration had been given to the president's feelings since the case first came to light.

"We must remember that as long as the president continues in his role... it will be impossible actually to serve the indictment. The Knesset must take action and dismiss the president immediately," she said.

Meanwhile, Channel 10 television reported Tuesday that Katsav did not plan to resign Tuesday night, despite the announcement of the impending indictment against him.

David Mena, a friend of Katsav's, told Channel 2 he had hope that the grave charges against the president would be dropped.

"I think that in the end things will become clear, and I don't think it will be what was announced today. I'm sure the indictment will be softened."

More on the case against Katsav Related links

  • AG Mazuz decides to charge President Katsav with rape and sexual harassment

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