First major challenger tosses his hat in the ring against Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion

Yosi Havilio in Jerusalem on November 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yosi Havilio in Jerusalem on November 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

With about six weeks until the municipal elections, a significant mayoral challenger has entered the race in Jerusalem.

Yosi Havilio, a current deputy mayor, is running with the backing of the Yesh Atid, Meretz and Labor national parties against current Mayor Moshe Lion, who is a member of Likud.

“Jerusalem is on a path to economic and social destruction, and Lion’s extreme and fanatical base does not allow him to change,” Havilio says in a statement. “The time has come to liberate Jerusalem, and return it to moderate and honorable hands.”

Havilio ran for mayor in 2018 on an independent ticket, but dropped out before the vote and endorsed Hitorerut candidate Ofer Berkowitz, who ultimately lost to Lion in a narrow runoff vote. Havilio’s slate won just one seat in 2018.

Arab lawyer Waleed Abu Tayeh is also in the running, although since most East Jerusalemites boycott the vote, he is considered highly unlikely to win or even gain traction.

The municipal elections are slated for October 30.

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