Haredi factions in Jerusalem emerged from yesterday’s local election just one seat short of an absolute majority on the city council, with 15 of the council’s 16 seats.
While Tuesday’s mayoral race in Jerusalem was deadlocked, leading to a run-off election to be held in November, the results of the city’s municipal council elections have already been tallied, showing the council’s haredi factions gaining one mandate despite a split within the largest haredi party.
A total of 242,490 Jerusalemites voted Tuesday, representing 38% of the 638,065 eligible voters in the Israeli capital.
As in previous elections, turnout was minimal in the city’s Arab sector, which traditionally boycotts Israeli elections, but was high in predominantly haredi precincts.
Though haredi leaders had expressed concern prior to the election that the three-way split in the Ashkenazi haredi vote would lead to a loss of seats, the four haredi lists saw a net gain of one mandate over 2013.
Five years ago, the United Torah Judaism party won eight seats in the council, making it the largest faction. Shas, the second largest, won five seats, while the new Bnei Torah faction won a single mandate.
In Tuesday’s election, the United Torah Judaism split into two factions – the Hassidic Agudat Yisrael party, and the non-Hassidic Degel Hatorah faction. Degal Hatorah won six mandates Tuesday, while Agudat Yisrael won three. Shas remained stable at five mandates, while Bnei Torah stayed with a single seat.
The right-wing United Jerusalem list, led by Land of Israel activist Aryeh King, won two seats, the same number the faction won in 2013. Along with King, United Jerusalem will be represented in the city council by Rabbi Yehonatan Yosef, the grandson of former Chief Rabbi and Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
The Jerusalem Tazliach party, led by Mayor Nir Barkat in 2013, ran with Likud MK and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin at the helm on Tuesday, winning just two mandates, compared to the four the party won in 2013. In this election cycle, Jerusalem Tazliach was allied with the Jewish Home faction, which won two seats, an increase of one mandate over its 2013 performance.
The Hitorerut party, led by Ofer Berkovitch, gained two mandates, rising from four seats to six.
The far-left Meretz party remained stable with two seats, while the ‘Paz’ faction representing the Pisgat Zeev neighborhood in northeast Jerusalem lost its only seat in the council.
Yossi Havilio, a former Jerusalem city legal adviser, won a seat with his Havilio Matzilim list.(INN)
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