Israel Election: Ayman Odeh Reelected to First Spot in Hadash Primary

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Hadash head and Joint List leader Ayman Odeh, in Shefa-'Amr on Saturday.
Hadash head and Joint List leader Ayman Odeh, in Shefa-'Amr on Saturday.Credit: Fadi Amun
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Ayman Odeh has been reelected to the first slot on the ticket of his Hadash party – one of three factions in the Joint List of Arab parties that he heads.

The Hadash party committee is convening on Saturday in the Israeli Arab city of Shfaram to elect its representatives for the Knesset ahead of the November 1 elections.

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Out of the committee's 940 members, 530 cast their vote in the faction's primary elections, with 75 percent voting for Odeh.

Lawmaker Aida Touma Sliman at the Hadash primary in Shfaram, on Saturday.Credit: Fadi Amun

Aida Touma-Sliman has been reelected to the second slot with 52 percent of the votes, beating out Kafr Yasif Mayor Shadi Shweiri. The two had to compete in a second round of voting, after none of them received more than 50 percent of the votes that are required to secure a slot, according to the factions' rules.

Ofer Cassif was reelected to the third slot – customarily reserved for Jewish candidates – with 67 percent of the votes.

"The real test will on the day of the election. The voter turnout in the Arab community also depends on the voters of Hadash," Ayman Odeh stated after his reelection, adding that the results of the national election will be announced on November 2, the day that marks the Balfour Declaration.

"On this day we will determine whether we will have a place and influence in this country, or whether it will be a country where only extremists will determine our future," he said.

Hadash party members convene to hold primary elections, on Saturday.Credit: Hadash party

The fourth slot was granted to the Bedouin former lawmaker Youssef Atauna, with 65 percent of the votes, though only the first three are likely to secure a realistic position on the list with Balad and Ta'al. According to the latest polls, the Joint List would clock in at six seats.

The inclusion of Atauna, however, might give the Hadash leadership leverage with the other parties on the Joint List to secure four seats for Hadash, since having a Bedouin representative is likely to increase the overall popularity of the Joint List.

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