Kadima loses key municipal races

Muslim brotherhood candidate beats Kadima official in Rahat; however, Hasson claims Kadima control expanded on municipal level.

yoel hasson 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
yoel hasson 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Kadima suffered a blow in Tuesday's second round of the municipal elections when the party's candidates lost in several key contests. The party's candidate in Ashkelon, Itamar Shimoni, whom Kadima leader Tzipi Livni campaigned for extensively, lost to former mayor Benny Vaknin. In Metulla, Kadima's Kobi Katz, who had been mayor for 10 years, lost by 53 votes to Herzl Boker of Labor. Races were decided in Rehovot, Kiryat Shmona and Kiryat Ono in which high-profile Kadima candidates had already lost in the first round of voting two weeks ago. Rehovot Mayor Shuki Forer left Kadima ahead of the race. But the worst loss was for Kadima was in Rahat, where Faiz Abu Sahaban, who is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, beat Talal Al-Kirnawi, the deputy head of Kadima's governing council. His loss followed the defeat of the head of the council, Rishon Lezion's Meir Nitzan. Kadima did win in Safed, where opposition leader Ilan Shohat beat NRP Mayor Yishai Maimon. The party also won in Yavne, Even Yehuda and Moshav Kadima in the Sharon region. "The second round expanded Kadima's control on the municipal level," said Kadima MK Yoel Hasson, who headed the party's municipal campaign. But his counterpart in Labor, Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon, said that Kadima was defeated handily.