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A petition against the appointment of Amit Oberkovitz to the Israel Electric Corporation board was filed yesterday with the High Court of Justice.

IEC engineer Eli Armon submitted the petition against Acting Prime Minister and Finance Minister Ehud Olmert, National Infrastructures Minister Roni Bar-On, IEC management and Oberkovitz, seeking an order that the Finance Ministry rescind the appointment. Armon also asked for a restraining order until the High Court can discuss the matter.

Armon claims he had won an election to be appointed to the board as one of two workers' representatives, defeating Oberkovitz by a vote of 3,329 to 2,099. And yet, Olmert still decided to appoint Oberkovitz to the board position.

Oberkovitz's father, Yoram, served for many years as IEC workers committee chair and was considered a strongman in the corporation.

"Behind this petition lies an undesirable situation that has been created in the government companies sector, in which without almost any exception, someone without close connections to the establishment or leadership cannot be appointed to the board of one of these companies," Armon charged in his petition.

Armon claims his only problem is a lack of personal connections with the people in charge of making appointments or their aides. Therefore, he concludes, there is no political capital to be gained by appointing him to a key position in a place like the IEC. For this reason, he claims, he was not appointed and the post was given to Oberkovitz, "thus turning the company board in which no engineers serve."

The petition also noted that the impression has arisen that there is a link between choosing Oberkovitz as a board member and the fact that he is married to Geula Even, the Channel 1 anchor, who interviews numerous politicians as part of her job and can be very influential on public opinion both during the election campaign and thereafter.

Oberkovitz commented that he would respond in detail to the petition after reading it. He added that if indeed Armon is claiming his appointment was made using inappropriate considerations, he would weigh filing a libel suit.