Israeli Parliament Speaker Leads in Labor Vote Count
With 99 percent of the votes counted in the Israeli Labor Party's leadership election on Tuesday, moderate Parliament Speaker Avraham Burg was slightly ahead of the more hawkish Defense Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer.
However, protests had been registered, party election committee head Efi Stenzler said, quoted by AFP.
Earlier Wednesday, with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ben Eliezer had been leading with 51.7 percent to Burg's 47 percent, party officials said.
Stenzler told Israeli public radio: "Mr. Burg is slightly ahead after counting of 99 percent of the votes, but three percent of the ballot boxes have still to be counted and there are objections about the results registered in two or three boxes."
He said the party election committee would meet at 10:00am Wednesday to look into the situation and possibly announce the results of the vote.
Stenzler said only some 50 percent of the 117,000 party members who were eligible to vote took part in Tuesday's election.
Burg had remained slightly behind Ben Eliezer for a long time during the count, but he pulled ahead after the votes of Druze members of the Labor Party were counted.
According to Haaretz, polls closed at 9:00pm Tuesday, with 50 percent of party members having voted. Some 117,000 Labor Party members were eligible to take part in the primary.
Reports indicate that the turnout in Arab areas was very high - 80 percent - while on kibbutzim it was just over 60 percent. The urban vote was low at around 45 percent, said the daily.
Israel’s Channel 1 TV said late Tuesday night that there have been allegations of fraud in the primaries, particularly in Arab sector – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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