Ethiopian winner might lose 30th spot on Likud list

Likud member Aleli Admasu, who won the 30th spot reserved for immigrants on the party's Knesset list in Monday's primary, may lose his place. A Russian-born candidate for the same slot filed a petition with the Likud central committee claiming that Admasu was ineligible to compete for the new immigrants slots because he made aliya in 1983 while the party's regulations define a new immigrant as someone who came to Israel after December 31, 1984. Vladimir Shklar, 51, from Jerusalem, who made aliya in 1990 and received 13,141 votes, filed the petition on Wednesday and it is scheduled to be discussed on Thursday. On Wednesday, Admasu sounded relaxed and said he had received permission from the Likud's central election committee to run for an immigrants slot. "I won rightfully and received the votes of the public, who wanted me. I informed the committee right from the start of the year of my arrival to Israel, and it approved my special request to run for a slot reserved for new immigrants. No mistake has been made and Shklar will not take the place I won without any help from anyone," Admasu said. Admasu, 47, a father of five from Rishon Lezion, made aliya from Ethiopia in 1983. In one of the surprises of the Likud's primary, he received 15,278 votes and the second slot reserved for a new immigrant. Kadima MK Ze'ev Elkin, who made aliya from Ukraine in 1990, won the first such spot, No. 21, with 19,245 votes. "This is nothing personal against Aleli, who is a great guy, but he shouldn't have run for the immigrants slot if he made aliya before 1985," Shklar said on Wednesday. "I decided to run for the immigrants reserved slots, I put my money and efforts into this race while I thought I knew who my competitors were," Shklar said. "I could have run for a different slot." Everyone in the party expected Russian speakers to win the immigrant spots. Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu said on several occasions that three Russian-speakers would win realistic positions on the candidates list. He was referring to MK Yuli Edelstein, who ran on the national list and won No. 12, Elkin, and one of several candidates who were thought to have the advantage over Admasu for the 30th spot.