Optimism is increasing among members of United Arab List-Ta’al that the party would end up with four, rather than three, seats in the 17th parliament.
Initially reported results gave the Arab party four mandates, but after the out-of-precinct votes (of soldiers, hospital patients, prisoners) were counted, UAL-Ta’al dropped down to just three mandates.
The fourth mandate, which would have secured Abbas Zakhur a parliamentary seat, went to Meretz, which led with a mere 120 votes.
After the final results were announced, UAL-Ta’al members declared they would petition the high court to delay publishing official election results and hold a re-vote at some 20 ballot centers in Arab villages which were disqualified due to suspicions of tampering, as well as in the Ras Ali village in the north, where the ballot box had been burned.
On Sunday the Central Elections Committee informed United Arab List-Ta’al that during calculation of the ballots, one ballot box had apparently been counted twice, and upon a recount the Arab party lagged behind Meretz for the contested mandate by only 85 votes.
Members of the party were pleased with the new information. MK Ahmed Tibi noted the party was certain the justice system would approve their petition and they would in the end regain the fourth mandate.