Israel gets third female mayor as round 2 of local election results tallied

38 municipalities hold run-off elections: Itzik Braverman wins in Petah Tikva, Moshe Fadalon takes Herzliya.

Voters Jerusalem elections 2013 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Voters Jerusalem elections 2013 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Voters decisively elected a woman as mayor of Yehud and booted a 40-year incumbent from office in Pardesiya by only 53 votes in the second round of municipal elections on Tuesday.
Nationally, the average turnout rate was 50.9 percent, nearly identical to the first round of voting, which took place on October 22.
Yaela Maklis’s victory in Yehud, a town which borders Ben-Gurion Airport, will make her only the third female mayor in office. She beat incumbent Mayor Yossi Ben- David with 66% of the vote.
“I really regret the fact that only three [women] were elected, because I met some of the candidates and they are good women, very active,” said Maklis.
“I’m sure that in the next election, [many] more women will be elected.”
Meanwhile, in Pardesiya, Tal Gorky defeated incumbent Mayor Yitzhak Yemini with 51%, garnering 1,482 votes to Yemini’s 1,429. Turnout in the town was 60%.
Another upset came in Petah Tikva, where Yitzhak Braverman beat incumbent Mayor Uri Ohad, 58% to 42%. The result was quite a turnaround for Braverman, who received only 26% of the vote in the first round while Ohad got 36% — just shy of the 40 percent mark that would have avoided a runoff.
“The people of Petah Tikva said they were fed up with what was here before and they want a new era,” said Braverman.
Petah Tikva also boasted the largest number of voters in its second round, more than 60,000, nearly triple the nexthighest, Herzliya.
Herzilya’s election was among the nation’s closest in the first round, with Moshe Fadlon leading Zvika Hadar by just over 100 votes, 24.9% to 24.4%. But in the second round, Fadlon emerged victorious with 61%.
In Mevaseret Zion, Yoram Shimon – who got 36% of the votes in the first round – handily defeated Boaz Cohen 55%- 45%.
In Afula, Yitzak Meron defeated incumbent Mayor Avi Alkabetz by only 200 votes in a race with nearly 19,000 ballots cast.
The race with the tightest vote margin was Kaukab Abu al-Hija, where Salah Zahar won by nine votes in a race where turnout hovered around the 90% mark.
The turnout rate across the country was not surprising to political analysts.
The 16 towns with turnout above 80% were all Arab, said Assaf Shapira, a researcher in the Israel Democracy Institute’s Political Reform project. The high Arab turnout was consistent with the predictions of analysts.
Shapira noted that voter turnout was lower in the second round in Jewish communities, such as Herzliya, where voter turnout dipped from 37% to 33%. The final vote counts are expected to fluctuate slightly once soldiers’ votes are counted.
“From previous experience, soldier votes in the municipal elections... don’t matter much,” he said. “Maybe we’re going to be surprised, [but] I don’t think the results are going to change.”
The police dealt with only minor incidents throughout the day, including a case in Yehud where a man allegedly grabbed all the voting slips from a booth. Northern district police said officers responded to a Tamra voting station after two voters and a voting supervisor allegedly got into an argument.
The officers who responded were subsequently assaulted, the police said.
Two people were detained in Afula after a woman complained she was not allowed to vote because she was told she had already voted. Separately, two people in their 50s were detained after they had an argument about sign hanging.
Full list of winners of second round:
Abu Sanan - Nuhas MeshalevAfula - Itzhak MeronBasma - Ra'id KabhaBasmat Tab'un - Munir ZabidatBeit El - Shai AlonBeit Jan - Bian KablanBi'ina - Ali KhalilBir el Mahsur - Muhamad JadidDaburiyya - Yosefiya ZuhirDeir al-Asad  - Dabakh AssadElkana - Assaf MintzerHerzliya - Moshe FadalonHod hasharon - Adiv HaiIsfiya - Kayuf VagiyaJadeidi-Makr -  Mohammad ShamiKa'abiyye-Tabbash-Hajajre - Ka'abiyye ZidaneKafr Qara - Atamana HassanKaukab Abu al-Hija - Salah ZaharKfar Kama - Nabsu ZahariyaKiryat Ekron - Hovav ZabariKiryat Shmona - Nissim MalkaKiryat Tivon - David ArieliLakiya - Abu Aish SalemMaghar - Dagesh ZiadMa'ale Iron - Agbaria MustaffaMevaseret Zion - Shimon YoramMigdal - Amrusi Yisrael ShoshanNahf - Ismail OmarPardesiya - Tal GorkyPetah Tikva - Itzhak BravermanQalansawe - Abad al BasetRahat - Alkanirawi TallalReineh - Tatur HaledTamra - Dyeb SouheilYehud-Monosson - Yaela MaklisZemer - Ganem DiyebZarzir - Grifat Atef
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.