Alalo, Margalit to serve in rotation as Meretz faction head

Margalit won by clear majority, but voting irregularities lead to annulment of primary.

Meir Margalit370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Meir Margalit370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Following the nullification of the Meretz primary results for leadership of the Jerusalem municipality faction of the party, Meretz’s election committee ruled Tuesday that City Councilman Dr. Meir Margalit and a rival must share the contested post. This, after Margalit won by a clear majority.
The results of the June primary were annulled after Rabbi Ehud Bandel and Councilwoman Laura Wharton, both candidates for the position, alleged voting “irregularities” and requested a formal review of the results, as well as an inquiry.
According to Margalit, a subsequent investigation found that 23 east Jerusalem residents who voted for him were disqualified because they paid the NIS 60 registration fee to become faction members in cash, violating party rules that new members only pay by check or credit card.
The election committee – which did not hold a second vote – subsequently mandated that Deputy Mayor and City Councilman Yosef “Pepe” Alalo head the party during the first half of the two-and-a-half-year term, and Margalit replace him during the second half.
Margalit said Thursday he rejects the committee’s decision because Alalo lost the original vote, and has requested a court ruling on the matter.
“The system is wrong because the guy that loses can’t lead,” he said.
The committee added the stipulation that Alalo must resign from all his duties at the end of his term to allow a new council member from Meretz to take his place.