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Israel primary elections: voters consider recent violence

11-26-2012 10:28 BJT

Serious computer malfunctions delayed Israel's ruling Likud party primary elections today causing low voter turnout and a possible second voting round to account for low voter turnout. 

By late afternoon, only 16% of 123,000 Likud party members had cast votes prompting one party official to quip: “We might be strong at fighting Hamas but not at primaries.”

The delay could buy Prime Minister Netanyahu time as he dangles between trying to appease centrist versus right leaning party members - some who perceive him as weak for not pursuing a ground incursion during Israel’s recent Gaza campaign. 

Policy analysts say computer glitches and fighting strategy make no difference - party members already have their minds made up.

Jonathan Javor, director of Israel center for political training, said, “You may see a bit of movement here or there, which is always likely. A couple of surprises, people who made good, people who didn’t do as well. But overall, I’m not entirely sure we’ll see a significant change as a result of pillar of defense.”

The recent violence is still fresh in the voting populace’s mind and Palestinian politicians claim that the election is a major reason for Israel’s action.

 Dr. Nabeel Shaath with Fatah central committee, said, “Timing now must have been really caused by three or four factors. One definitely was the coming elections. It was enticing for an Israeli leader to flex his muscles and his arm muscles whenever the election’s coming.” 

On the streets of the West Bank, residents also feel Israel’s Gaza campaign was no fluke. 

Osama Ramallah said, “I feel like the campaign on Gaza by Israel was definitely a political move. It was definitely to boost Netanyahu’s political stance in elections and that’s how I feel about it.” 

The prime minister’s decision not to send troops into Gaza may cost him general election votes. 

Reporter: “But politicos are hoping by January 22nd the general public’s collective memory will fade. For now, the party is contending with computer issues, angry party members and delayed primaries.”



Editor:James |Source:

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