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Watchdog demands cabinet secretary be suspended for picture of him voting Likud

Good governance group calls on Civil Service Commission to file official complaint against Tzachi Braverman for posting picture in breach of non-partisan requirements

Cabinet secretary Tzachi Braverman attends a ceremony at the Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, August 31, 2020. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Cabinet secretary Tzachi Braverman attends a ceremony at the Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, August 31, 2020. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

A good governance group asked the state Civil Service Commission Wednesday to file an official complaint against Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman after he posted a picture of himself voting for the Likud party, in what it said should be considered illegal electioneering.

“Braverman’s behavior is a clear-cut violation of the law and undermines the good name of the civil service and its work,” Hatnua L’Tohar Hamidot said in a tweet.

The group asked that Braverman be suspended until after an investigation is completed, rather than be allowed to continue in his roles, which also include serving as acting director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office.

It warned that if the commission doesn’t meet its demands it will take the matter to court.

There was no immediate response from Braverman, whose position makes him a top aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the head of Likud.

As a public servant rather than an elected official, Braverman is barred from publicly endorsing a political party, even though he was formerly a prominent activist and campaigner for Likud.

Braverman had posted a photo of himself on Tuesday’s election day holding an election envelope with a voting slip for the Likud party prominently displayed. He is to face an investigation into his actions, Hebrew media reported at the time.

Israelis vote at polling stations by putting a party slip inside a special envelope, which is then deposited in a ballot box.

Several parties reported irregularities during the vote, claiming that their voting slips were missing at various polling stations around the country.

Police also reported isolated incidents of irregularities including suspicions of forged voting at a number of locations around the country, as well as banned campaigning activities in several places that were quickly dealt with by officers.

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