Israel's Election Panel Refuses to Meet With Netanyahu Over His Claims on Voter Fraud

Netanyahu live streams tirade against alleged 'election theft' on Facebook after committee chief says it is not his job to investigate police

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Central Elections Committee chairman Hanan Melcer and director Orly Adas.
Central Elections Committee chairman Hanan Melcer and director Orly Adas.Credit: Emil Salman
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

The Central Election Committee on Sunday rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request to discuss the police’s handling of alleged voter fraud in the April 9 election.  

A statement by panel's chairman Justice Hanan Melcer and representatives of the four largest parties said that discussing police investigations is not one of the committee's tasks.

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“We decided not to meet with the prime minister or with any other party leader in light of the tight schedule [ahead of Tuesday’s election],” read a statement by the committee. 

The committee also noted that it does not have the authority to instruct the police on matters pertaining to the election, and stated that Netanyahu and other party leaders can address the panel in writing should they wish to raise issues.

Netanyahu turned to the committee after Ma’ariv journalist Kalman Livskind reached out to 83 Likud representatives on the polling station committees, out of the 97 who testified to the police that a series of irregularities took place in polling stations in Arab communities during April's election.

Livskind reported that 80 representatives said that the police didn’t contact them regarding their testimony. Ma’ariv didn’t ask the police for comment.

Netanyahu said in response in interviews to media outlets and on social media that he has requested an urgent meeting with Melcer. The committee convened on Sunday morning to examine the request and decided to reject it.

On Sunday afternoon, Netanyahu arrived at the Knesset with Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and the Likud representative responsible for monitoring Likud polling stations in the April election.

After Netanyahu was informed that Melcer had refused to meet with him, the premier complained about the decision via his Facebook live stream. He went on to criticize what he called April’s “election theft,” and demanded that the central elections committee prevent similar incidents from taking place in Tuesday’s election.

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