Feiglin Challenges Likud Primary Results, Says Numbers Don't Add Up

Following a tense day of balloting with low voter turnout Netanyahu beat Feiglin 77 percent to 23 percent.

Moshe Feiglin, the far-rightist who lost to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Likud's primary, has challenged the outcome, saying the official figures don't correspond with voting on the ground.

The results followed a tense day of balloting on Tuesday, which saw a much lower turnout than Netanyahu had hoped for. That day, the prime minister called an impromptu press conference to urge Likud members to go out and vote.

But on Thursday a leader of Feiglin's Jewish Leadership faction, Shai Malka, demanded that the Likud election committee publish the results as they were documented at individual polling stations. In the election, Netanyahu beat Feiglin 77 percent to 23 percent.

Malka said a closer look at the figures reveals that they do not comply with the party's official data. "At this point, [the Feiglin camp] does not accept the election's results as they were published and [demands] all the relevant information immediately and through the proper channels," he said.

"By publishing vote tallies according to party branches as opposed to polling stations, Likud was preventing scrutiny of the results."

According to Malka, "In the figures from Beit She'an, Likud reported 1,074 voters, 1,034 of them for Netanyahu and 44 for Moshe Feiglin. But the total of eligible voters there is 834, and our observers say only 550 came to vote."

Another example of an alleged discrepancy between official results and data collected by Feiglin activists was the town of Beit Shemesh, where the official results count 126 votes for Feiglin and 77 for Netanyahu.

Feiglin's camp says it counted 289 votes for Feiglin and 114 for Netanyahu. "This is an insufferable gap, and one with consequences," Malka said, adding that similar gaps had been revealed elsewhere.

Likud said the party's oversight panel would look into any appeal, but that an official request had yet to be submitted.

Also, leaders of the main groups at the Likud convention made deals in advance on whom to elect for the convention, activists said. Convention members were also elected Tuesday.

Natan Engelsman of Shiloh, a leader of the Mateh Leumi faction, was elected to the convention along with 14 family members including his wife, five children, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law and her three children.

The convention will become the party's central committee when it convenes in a few months.

Engelsman's brother, Elhanan, who lives in Givat Shmuel, also contended for the convention and came in first in his branch. A group of party members over 60 dubbed "the founders" was elected to the convention. This group includes Elhanan's parents.

"Like any veteran family of Likud members, we can get our members into Likud institutions," Engelsman said.

Also elected for the convention were Yaakov Weinberger, the CEO of the institutions of the Har Bracha settlement; Yitzhak Melamed, the son of Har Bracha Rabbi Eliezer Melamed; Yehuda Eliyahu, head of the Regavim movement against illegal Bedouin construction; and Limor Sohn of the Homesh Tehila group seeking a return to the destroyed settlement.

Also elected were Ira Rapaport of Shiloh, a member of the Jewish underground in the 1980s; Itai Harel, founder of the Migron outpost; Meir Bertler; and Meir Goldmintz, head of the Shiru Lamelech yeshiva at the Havat Gilad outpost. Both Bertler and Goldmintz are facing trial for breaking into the Christian site of Kasr al-Yehud near the Jordan River.

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