Israeli officials order new elections to be held in largest Arab city in March
Officials confiscated fake I.D. cards that were used in Beit Shemesh to ensure Moshe Abutbul's re-election last October (Courtesy of the Jerusalem District Police/YNet News)
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Israel has ordered a re-vote in two municipal elections, including one in the country's largest Arab city, to be held in March after close and fradulent elections resulted in mixed results from October polls, according to Agence France Presse Tuesday.
Israel's high court has ordered that the residents from the city of Nazareth must vote for a second time in a fresh election after incumbent mayor Ramez Jaraiseh beat his counterpart, Ali Salem by a total of nine votes in an October poll, said AFP.
The court has also ordered that the residents of Beit Shemesh hold new elections after "wide-scale fraud"--where fake I.D. cards were issued to individuals to vote--allegedly led to the reelection of Sephardi ultra-Orthodox Shas party member, Moshe Abutbul.
The elections will likely take place on March 11, according to the Interior Ministry.
Nazareth is the capital of the Galilee region where 65 percent of its population of 82,000 identifies as Muslim and the remaining 35 identify as Christian.
In Beit Shemesh, most of the 80,000 residents identify as Orthodox Jews and the city has become notorious for religious clashes and strict gender segregation.