Rival Declares Voting ‘Irregularities’ in Jerusalem Mayoral Race

Mayoral candidate Moshe Lion, left, and his wife pose for the media as they cast their votes at a polling station in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. Israelis were choosing their next mayors in dozens of locations across the country Tuesday, with the main focus on the largest city of …
AP/Mahmoud Illean)

The Times of Israel reports: Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Lion declared victory early Wednesday in the runoff election, but his rival, Ofer Berkovitch, vowed his legal team would be looking into alleged “irregularities” at the polling stations.

The local ballot count from Tuesday’s vote ended with the ultra-Orthodox-backed candidate Lion ahead of Berkovitch by over 6,000 votes. Berkovitch had yet to concede the race, however, and the 8,500 votes by IDF soldiers, prisoners, and those cast in hospitals will only be counted on Wednesday, according to Army Radio. (Some 5,500 of those ballots were submitted by troops.) But Lion’s three-percentage point lead (51% vs. 48%) was deemed sufficient by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and the candidate to confidently call the contest in his favor by 2 a.m.

“Jerusalem tonight chose unity, the sense of togetherness, the good,” Lion told a packed hall of supporters, many of whom were enthusiastically chanting “Aryeh Deri.”

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