Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun )
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein is considering appealing the results of last
month’s mayoral election in Beit Shemesh, Israel Radio reported on
Defeated candidate Eli Cohen and his campaign team have alleged
that there was wide-scale voter fraud on election day in the city, made all the
more significant by Shas incumbent Moshe Abutbul’s narrow margin of victory of
less than 950 votes.
In response to Monday’s report, the Justice Ministry
said the attorney-general was closely following developments in the police
investigation into the Beit Shemesh election and had held several discussions in
his office on the matter.
“In the coming days the attorney-general will
crystallize his position on the possibility of submitting an appeal to the
courts on the election results, on the basis of the results of the
investigation,” the Justice Ministry said.
On election day on October 22,
police discovered approximately 200 governmentissued personal ID cards in two
apartments in Beit Shemesh and arrested two suspects. Cohen’s campaign team said
it has also collected evidence and testimony of numerous incidents of election
Following Monday’s report, MK Uri Maklev of United Torah Judaism
accused Weinstein of being “a populist.”
“The police investigations give
no basis for new elections,” the MK said. “This is the last institution that we
would have expected to follow along with the atmosphere of incitement of a
disappointed [sector] of the public.”
A spokesman for Cohen’s campaign
said that following the report and the response of the Justice Ministry, Abutbul
should not make any appointments or allocate positions within the municipal
council till the issue has been resolved. He added that the Cohen campaign would
be formally filing an appeal to the Jerusalem District Court on
Speaking on Kol Hai Radio, Abutbul said he was not concerned
that there would be new a election and said his new coalition would be formed
within the next two weeks.