Jerusalem mayor candidate Ofer Berkovitch, who entered the second round of the municipal elections Tuesday, said that his second-place finish in the race "sent an important message," in an interview on Army Radio Wednesday.
"We showed that people of different positions and religious views can work together," Berkovitch said.
When asked about if he represents a secular party, Berkovitch replied that "you can't define me as the secular candidate. I represent a wide movement that includes secular people, conservatives, religious people and even haredim."
During his campaign, Berkovitch said that his allegiance is to Jerusalem and not special interests. Invoking the man he hopes to replace, Berkovitch criticized Nir Barkat and his national political aspirations, together with other mayor candidates whose candidacies were another step to advance their careers.
"Jerusalemites are tired of backroom deals and political games," said Berkovitch. "They want an authentic candidate who is connected to the place and know its people."
His campaign focused on building up the economy through infrastructure and job creation, culture and coexistence, aiming to integrate Arabs and Orthodox Jews into society by providing them with jobs. Regarding politics of identity during his and other candidates' campaigns and his strategy to approach the haredi public, Berkovitch praised the haredi candidate Daitch
"Yossi Daitch and I are colleagues and have a lot in common," he said. "We proved that we can run positive and optimistic campaigns, without attacks and hatred between secular and haredi people. And I plan to continue along those lines."
"As mayor, I plan to give each resident what he deserves to receive from the city council, regardless the size of his kippah," concluded Berkovitch.
Josh Axelrod contributed to this report.
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