Lindenstrauss Denies Reports of Run for Presidency

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss yesterday dispelled suggestions that he might be a candidate for state president. "I will fulfill my entire term as State Comptroller and I have no other plans," he told Haaretz at a news conference during which he submitted his office's latest report.

Lindenstrauss' term as comptroller ends in the summer of 2012. The question over Lindenstrauss' possible presidential candidacy follows a report in the Hebrew edition of Haaretz yesterday that Lindenstrauss said former Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik accused him of investigating the propriety of renovation work performed at her home in an effort to scuttle her own candidacy as president. Itzik has denied this.

The comptroller report deals with the maintenance of Itzik's official residence when she was Knesset speaker. Lindenstrauss noted the Knesset paid NIS 25,000 to replace flooring and tiling in her private apartment. It was also revealed that during the course of the comptroller's investigation, Itzik returned NIS 25,380 to the Knesset. Lindenstrauss ruled that "it was not found appropriate to indicate deficiencies in Itzik's handling of this matter."

Current Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud ), who is entitled by virtue of his position to Knesset funding at his Jerusalem apartment as an official residence, commented on the matter at the news conference, saying "the Knesset speaker's apartment does not need to be an official residence. It would be good to make a distinction between private property and state property. I have already given up my official residence."