Sara and Benjamin Netanyahu arrive at polling station
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Erez Erlichman
Moshe Feiglin
Photo: Erez Erlichman
Danny Danon
Likud primaries: ballots close with 40% turnout
Polling stations close after 11 pm with relatively low turnout; final results expected by midnight. Candidate Moshe Feiglin shows up to vote, says Jewish leadership needed

Ballots closed slightly after 11 pm with 37,633 (39.64%) of the 94,944 registered Likud members casting their vote for the next Likud party chairman.


The voting station at the Jerusalem International Convention Center was desolate during the first hours of the Likud primary elections Tuesday morning.


Activists working for candidates Benjamin Netanyahu and Moshe Feiglin wandered around the polling stations and tried to interfere with the drowsy atmosphere.


While the party chairman's people played the Likud jingle, Feiglin's people played a jingle similar to the Likud's.


Feiglin arrived at the voting station accompanied by supports who chanted, "Here comes the next prime minister!"


After placing his vote, the candidate said, "This is a very exciting and important day, and with God's help the State of Israel will return to the hands of the people of Israel.


"We want to give the state back to the Jewish majority that was dragged against its will by the extreme left to the point it has reached. The same left culture that has forced the Oslo accords and the disengagement on us.


"We should have leadership that knows where it's going, Jewish leadership," Feiglin added.


According to estimates, due to the low voter turnout, Feiglin is expected to draw relatively high percentages, but current Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to win the election.

Netanyahu votes in Jerusalem (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


It's hard to say that candidates invested too much effort in their activities in the voting stations. Netanyahu's supporters recruited bored schoolchildren on their summer vacation, who were dressed in shirts with Netanyahu's election slogan.


Feiglin's supporters arrived with blue and white balloons. The third candidate, Danny Danon settled for a small and modest counter.


In a last attempt to deal with the voters' apathy, it was decided to place a voting station in one of Eilat's hotels for the party members vacationing in the southern resort city. Feiglin's supporters reported of irregularities in some of the polling stations.


First published: 14.08.07, 13:23
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