The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday revoked the results of the January 2015 Bat Yam Mayoral Election due to banned campaign promises made by Mayor Yossi Bachar, among other improprieties.
The presiding judge highlighted a number of banned campaign promises made by Bachar, including a vow that he would block municipal tax increases for local business owners.The judge also highlighted interference by former Bat Yam Mayor Shlomo Lahiani, a close associate of Bachar.
Bachar said in response to the decision that he believes the judge made a mistake by “interfering in democratic elections because of baseless accusations made by people with vested interests.”
He also vowed to study the ruling and decide whether to issue an appeal.
Bachar – then a city council member and a close associate of Lahiani - became acting mayor in 2014 after Lahiani was indicted on charges bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. In January 2015, special mayoral elections were held in which Bachar was elected by a margin of 491 votes, though allegations of wrongdoing dogged the victorious candidate.
Bachar has the opportunity to appeal the decision, and if the appeal is not granted, new elections will be called.