Counting ballots 370.
(photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Former MK Taleb a-Sanaa of the Democratic Arab party filed a petition with the
Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday afternoon, calling for a state commission
investigation into alleged election irregularities.
“I have no doubt that
the findings of any commission will be at the level of an earthquake,” said a
statement issued by Sanaa, who was No. 5 on the United Arab List-Ta’al list that
won just four seats in the Knesset, putting him out for the first time in
The petition attacked the election results on fundamental issues,
such as allegations that the number of votes in certain areas was larger than
the number of voters.
For example, in Umm el- Fahm, the petition said 326
people were listed as having voted, but 526 actual votes were counted. A similar
pattern was claimed to have been detected in other places.
specific incident in Umm el-Fahm, the petition said the power went out at a
polling station and afterward, people in the area admitted to having stuffed
votes into the voting box without supervision.
In areas of the country
where the petition alleged voter fraud or irregularities, it said that election
law requires a redo of the election.
The petition focused mainly on Arab
sector areas, such as Umm el- Fahm, Jaljulya and Sakhnin, among
He said the petition also alleged that certain vote combination
deals – which resolved how to allocate vote totals that are not sufficient to
add another seat to a party – were not properly approved by the Central
Sanaa also alleged that there were group votes,
using envelopes with multiple votes inside, that were delivered
On these issues, the petition said that an earlier estimate of
votes had his party receiving five seats, which would have kept him in the
In the end, the petition said, Bayit Yehudi received an extra
Knesset seat that it should not have received, effectively “taking” a seat from
To the extent the court might not wish to order a redo of
the election in the localities referenced, the petition suggested the
alternative of returning to the earlier vote estimate, which would result in
taking a seat back from Bayit Yehudi and adding a seat to Sanaa’s party so he
could return to the Knesset.
Sanaa’s statistics were compiled prior to
the counting of grouped votes, such as that of soldiers, and prior to the
rounding process used to allocate the final Knesset seats.
vote totals do not add up to enough votes for another Knesset seat, a
complicated process that includes deals between parties allocates the final
Next, Sanaa said that some of the vote administrators at
local polling stations were threatened by rule violators.
He added that
he was not accusing the committee of any wrongdoing, but that ultimately a
failure had occurred in maintaining the purity and fairness of the
Sanaa said he was confident that the courts would correct the
injustices and that “justice would come to light.”
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