Moshe Lion is the next mayor of Jerusalem, after winning 51.5 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s runoff. His rival Ofer Berkovitch has so far won 48.5 percent of the vote.
Initially, Berkovitch led by as much as nine percent over Lion, but after the majority of the ballots were counted the gap narrowed and Lion led by about 6,000 votes.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri congratulated Lion on Tuesday night, saying, “I just now congratulated my friend Moshe Lion, the elected mayor of Jerusalem.”
Polls in more than 50 local councils in which a runoff was held in the local elections closed at 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday and the vote counting began.
In Gush Etzion, incumbent council head Shlomo Ne’eman and former deputy council head Moshe Seville went head-to-head in the runoff. After a partial count of votes, Ne’eman is ahead with about 56 percent of the votes, while Seville won about 44 percent of the vote.
In Ramat Gan, former MK Carmel Shama Hacohen defeated incumbent mayor Yisrael Singer. In Bat Yam, Likud candidate Zvika Brot defeated Yossi Bachar.
The overall voter turnout in the runoff was about 40 percent.
Throughout the day, as in the first round of voting, the Israel Police conducted special operational preparations in 54 polling stations throughout the country, with thousands of police officers, volunteers and Border Police officers taking part.
Police reported that during the day, order was maintained at polling stations throughout the country, and no unusual incidents were recorded that required the police’s handling and intervention.