JERUSALEM (AP) — A senior Israeli politician has dropped out of the country's presidential election days before the vote over a graft probe.
Labor party candidate Binyamin Ben-Eliezer made the announcement Saturday. Ben-Eliezer, a former general and seasoned politician, had been questioned by police over illegally accepting funds. Ben-Elieer says he is a victim of a smear campaign, noting that the allegations against him surfaced ahead of the election.
He wrote on his Facebook page: "With a very heavy heart, I have made the decision to withdraw from the race."
Israel's presidential election will be held Tuesday. It is a secret ballot vote among the Israeli parliament's 120 members.
Israeli President Shimon Peres, a Nobel Prize laureate, ends his seven-year term as the country's ceremonial head of state this summer.