Mofaz Aide Challenges Result of Kadima Primary

A Kadima member who supported Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz's failed bid for the party leadership yesterday filed the first legal challenge to last week's primary, which put Tzipi Livni in line to be prime minister.

Mordechai Elphariach asked the Kadima Party's highest court to keep Livni from calling herself the party chair, disqualify the results of the vote and hold a new primary. He also asked the court to invalidate the results from several polling stations, arguing that irregularities occurred there.

"The polling arrangements were incorrect, improper and inappropriate," stated his petition, which was filed against Livni, Elections Committee Chairman Dan Arbel and the Kadima Party. As an example, it cited the opening of a polling station in upscale north Tel Aviv, which it said was opened "without any justification" following a request from Livni's campaign.

Elphariach also said the polls were left open for an extra 30 minutes "without authorization, without any justified reason and in violation of elections regulations." As a result, voting continued even after the exit poll results were published, and the fact that these polls showed Livni winning handily dissuaded potential Mofaz voters from casting their ballots, the petition charged.