Tamar Zandberg, the leader of the left-wing Meretz party, on Thursday evening accused the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism of trying to “steal” votes from her party.
Updated tallies earlier in the day showed that UTJ was set to lose a seat, falling from eight to seven, while Meretz was expected to gain a seat, from four to five, in the 120-member Knesset.
But Dror Morag, the Meretz representative at the Central Elections Committee, said that while he had not been allowed into the room to view the vote counting, he saw representatives of UTJ inside.
Zandberg said the party has received reports of political intervention in the vote counting process.
“There’s a seat that is supposed to be the fifth seat for Meretz and at the moment we’re getting reports that United Torah Judaism is trying to apply political pressure for that seat to go to them and not to Meretz,” Zandberg said.
“We’ve asked members of the public to report anything that seemed odd [during the election]. We’re getting reports about polling stations [whose votes] have disappeared… about all sorts of inconsistencies between the votes recorded and what was put on the website,” she said.
The Central Elections Committee denied her claim, saying UTJ officials were not present in the room where the count was taking place.
Meretz received about 3.7 percent of votes nationwide, while UTJ attained 5.85%.
Zandberg also claimed that during October’s local elections in Tel Aviv, UTJ — running together with Jewish Home — took a seat that had been registered in Meretz’s favor through forgery. The case is still being investigated by the police.
The Central Elections Committee on Thursday said erroneous data had been registered on its computers, leading to a discrepancy between official results and those posted to the committee’s website, but insisted that the final tallies held by the committee from Tuesday’s vote were correct.
The head of the Central Elections Committee Justice Hanan Melcer said the election’s results would be formally released at midnight.