UTJ appeals against updated election results that saw it lose seat to Likud
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UTJ appeals against updated election results that saw it lose seat to Likud

Ultra-Orthodox party rejects final tally submitted week after national vote, which brought it down from eight seats to seven while Likud rose from 31 to 32

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hosted by Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism party (left), at a meal to celebrate the birth of Litzman's grandson, June 18, 2017. (Shlomi Cohen/FLASH90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hosted by Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism party (left), at a meal to celebrate the birth of Litzman's grandson, June 18, 2017. (Shlomi Cohen/FLASH90)

The United Torah Judaism party filed a petition on Thursday against the official election results, which were updated a week after the vote and saw the ultra-Orthodox faction lose a seat to the Likud party.

In the final tally completed by the Central Elections Committee on September 24, UTJ dropped from eight seats to seven, while Likud rose from 31 to 32 seats.

In its petition to the Jerusalem District Court, UTJ argued that ballots submitted at a polling station in the Druze town of Yarka — where voting had been delayed on election day due to suspicions of voter fraud — should have been disqualified. It also claimed that polling station representatives at several locations had miscalculated their respective final vote counts and given an extra 625 votes to Likud. Those extra ballots in addition to the ones in Yarka were enough to lift Netanyahu’s party up to 32 seats at UTJ’s expense.

Likud submitted a counter petition of its own, claiming that it too had done an evaluation of the results and found that the 32 seats granted to it by the Central Elections Committee had been accurate.

The extra mandate for Likud allowed MK Kati Shitrit to keep her seat at the expense of Yitzhak Pindros, who had been elected for the first time on behalf of UTJ just last April.

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