With most votes counted in yesterday's municipal elections across the country, it has become clear that the mayors of Israel's four largest cities have been re-elected. The mayors of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Rishon Lezion have been backed by the voters.
Most eyes have been on Jerusalem in the run up to the election, where the Likud-Beitenu challenger Moshe Lion was narrowing the gap with incumbent Mayor Nir Barkat. In the end Barkat was voted in for a second term with 52% of the ballots cast compared with Lion's 45% support.
In Tel Aviv, where the race was easier to call, Ron Huldai was returned for a fourth term as mayor with 53% of the vote, well ahead of MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) with 38% of the vote and Aharon Meduel with 9%. Huldai has served as mayor since 1998.
In Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav was seeking a third term. He faced a challenge, as in the 2008 elections, from Yaakov Borovoski but was winning handily with 51% of the votes against 37%.
In Rishon Lezion Dov Zur was elected for a second term with an impressive 70% of the vote, while in Beersheva Rubik Danilovitch was re-elected with a massive 90% of the votes.
There was a tight race in Ramat Gan where Mayor Zvi Bar had been forced out after 24 years following his indictment for bribery. Former Blich high school principal Israel Zinger who had stood against Bar last time around won with 54% of the vote against former Likud MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen's 46%.
In general the local elections were characterized across the country by lower turnouts than in 2008.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 23, 2013
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