Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Thursday said he has foiled attempts by Avigdor Liberman to make political appointments in the city’s municipality, and that was the reason the former foreign minister has chosen and is backing a candidate to vie for Barkat’s job.
Liberman “thinks everyone needs to work for him, [but] I work for the residents of the city of Jerusalem,” Barkat told Army Radio.
“There were a few unsuitable appointments I didn’t agree to, and I think this bothered him,” Barkat said. Some people “were not appropriate, who didn’t pass the threshold set in the tender, and I didn’t agree.”
Municipal and local elections will be held around the country on October 22, 2013.
Jerusalem has two main mayoral candidates: the incumbent Barkat, who hopes to continue in office for a second term, and Moshe Leon, originally from Givatayim, who is backed by Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party as well as ultra-Orthodox parties.
Formerly Israel’s foreign minister, Liberman is awaiting the verdict of a corruption trial against him. He was indicted on charges of fraud and breach of trust, accused of illegally using his clout to promote a Foreign Ministry official who had done him a favor in the past.