Shimon Peres on Wednesday became the ninth president of the State of Israel, beating his opponents by a comfortable margin in a highly anticipated Knesset vote.
Peres is Israel's perennial loser, having sustained defeats in seven national and Labor Party primary elections, as well as his previous run for the presidency in 2000, when the Knesset chose little-known Likud lawmaker Moshe Katsav over the elder statesman.
Katsav was forced to step down earlier this year amid a sexual harassment scandal, opening the way for Peres to secure his long-sought victory, even if only for a ceremonial position.
But already on Thursday morning, before Peres had even taken up residence at President House in Jerusalem, his aides told Army Radio that Peres does not intend to honor the traditional boundaries of his new post.
Peres, they said, will continue to engage in international diplomacy in order to bring about the implementation of his vision regarding peace and security for the Jewish state and the Middle East.