A-G considering appeal of Beit Shemesh election

Defeated candidate Eli Cohen and his campaign team have alleged that there was wide-scale voter fraud on election day in the city.

November 26, 2013 03:35
1 minute read.
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein [file].

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun )


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Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein is considering appealing the results of last month’s mayoral election in Beit Shemesh, Israel Radio reported on Monday.

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.

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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 fraud.

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 Wednesday.

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.

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