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The Local elections: First results

Campaign in Haifa. Wikipedia, Hanay

Yesterday, millions of Israelis exploited their democratic right to influence and choose a local leadership that will accompany them for the next five years. The voter turnout was slightly lower than usual ( around the 50% mark), and this is probably an effect of the war – with many Israeli citizens having more serious occupations, or not having the degree of concentration required to delve into deep other issues.

The polls across the country closed at 22 o’clock, and the votes were counted overnight. Now at morning there are already quite solid results, all while taking into account the double envelopes that are yet to be conted –soldiers, polling stations workers, etc.

Here are the results in the big and important cities of Israel:

In some of Israel’s major cities, there were some fairly one-sided races, in which there was barely a competition against the incumbent mayor, and the main competition was expressed in the elections for the city council: Thus in Jerusalem, where Moshe Leon won; Beersheba, where Rubik Danilovich won; Rishon Letzion, where Raz Kinstlich won; and Petah Tikva, where Rami Greenberg kept his job.

In other cities, there was a more significant competition, such as Tel Aviv, in which Ron Huldai defeated Aruna Barbivai on the way to a sixth (and probably final) term. In Ashdod, Yechiel Lasri managed to win after poor surveys; and in Netanya, Miriam Fierberg barely achieved the required majority. In Ramat Gan, Carmel Shama-Hacohen managed to win despite the investigations against him.

Several cities and councils will go for another round, after no candidate achieved the needed 40% majority. Those include Haifa, where Mayor Kalish-Rotem lost to no less than five other candidates, from whom Yona Yahav and David Etzioni will continue to the next round. In Beit Shemesh, a three-headed race ended extremely tightly, with all the candidates in the range of 32-36% – and the next round will consist of Aliza Bloch, the incumbent, against Samuel Greenberg.

Several victories throughout Israel have shown the strengthening of a conservative or ultra-Orthodox trend, such as in Tiberias, Safed, Arad and Mitzpe Ramon. In the ultra-Orthodox cities, this was a particularly turbulent election campaign filled with internal splits and political involvement. Arab cities throughout Israel also received mixed results.

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