Tight race in Nazareth goes down to the wire

Kafr Kara, west of Umm el-Fahm, had highest turnout in Arab sector with more than 94% of those eligible voting.

MK Haneen Zoabi  370 (photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
MK Haneen Zoabi 370
(photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
The winner of the closely watched mayoral contest in Nazareth, the nation’s largest Arab city, between incumbent Ramiz Jaraisy (Hadash), a communist Christian, Arab nationalist MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) and Deputy Mayor Ali Salam was not known on Wednesday night.
There were reports early in the morning that Jaraisy won, but the Interior Ministry later clarified that the vote was undecided.
Salam, who had worked with Jaraisy for the past 20 years, this year decided to leave Hadash and create his own party.
According to the Israeli- Arab website Bokra, Salam is in the lead.
In Kafr Kasim, 20 km. east of Tel Aviv, Adel Badir won with 47 percent of the vote.
He told the The Jerusalem Post earlier he was confident after gaining the support of most of the families in the city, and he was also backed by the Islamic Movement in Israel. Sami Issawi come in second with 33%. Incumbent Mayor Nadir Sarsour came in last with 20%.
In Umm el-Fahm, in Wadi Ara, a stronghold of the Islamic Movement, it said it would not endorse any candidate, though many believe it quietly supported the eventual winner, Khaled Hamdan.
Kafr Kara, northeast of Hadera and west of Umm el-Fahm, had the highest turnout in the Arab sector with more than 94% of those eligible voting.
In Tamra, in the Lower Galilee, the vote was split among nine candidates.
Since no one received 40%, there will be a second round on November 5.
Ghada Zoabi, founder and CEO of Bokra.net, told the Post that in the North, families and clans were playing a bit less of a role compared to in past elections.
She pointed out that Arab women did well in these elections. For example, in mostly Jewish Upper Nazareth, Arabs took three spots on the city council, with one going to a woman. In the mixed city of Haifa, three Arabs, one of them a woman, won places on the council.
The Arab sector had a low turnout in Haifa, either because they did not have faith in the Arab parties, or in the municipality, Ghada said.