Thursday, December 13, 2018

(JNS) Israelis woke on Wednesday morning to the tallies of municipal elections conducted across the country on Tuesday, which showed that Jerusalem would face a runoff for mayor between secular candidate Ofer Berkovitch and haredi-backed candidate Moshe Lion, and that Haifa’s mayor of 15 years was upset by the city’s first female mayor-elect.

Moshe Lion, who was supported by Israeli ministers Avigdor Lieberman and Aryeh Deri, got 33 percent of the vote, while head of the secular faction “Hitorerut,” Offer Berkovitch, received 29 percent.

Because the two received the highest number of votes, but neither reached the 40 percent threshold, the two will face off in a second election to take place on Nov. 13. Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who received just 19 percent of the votes and haredi candidate Yossi Daitch, who got 17 percent, were knocked out of the running.

Three-term Haifa mayor Yona Yahav lost to architect Einat Kalisch Rotem, who scored 55 percent of the vote, while Tel Aviv incumbent Ron Huldai was re-elected to his fifth term with 46 percent of the vote.

Rishon Letzion Mayor Dov Tzur, who was arrested last year on suspicion of corruption, got 31.8 percent of the vote in his city, while rival Raz Kinstlich, who called on Tzur to quit the race, got 21.7 percent, which means the two will also vie for the seat until Nov. 13.

Another runoff will occur in Ramat Gan, where incumbent Yisrael Zinger will oppose former MK and former Israeli ambassador to UNESCO and the OECD Carmel Shama-Hacohen.

In yet another runoff, Ra’anana incumbent Eitan Ginzburg, the first openly homosexual mayor in Israel, received fewer votes than opponent Chaim Broyde in the first round.

In Kfar Saba, incumbent Rai Sa’ar will run against former police deputy commissioner Yossi Sedbon.

Additional run-offs will occur in Hod Hasharon, Ma’alot-Tarshiha and Rosh Ha’ayin.

Landslide victories were declared for Beersheva mayoral incumbent Ruvik Danilovich and Netivot Mayor Yehiel Zohar.

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