Olmert casts vote
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Kadima officials concerned about low turnout
Only 43% of voters cast primaries ballots by 11pm; PM votes, says Israel will respond to Gaza attacks

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert joined the diminished number of Kadima voters Wednesday as he cast his ballot for the party's roster in Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium.


By 11 pm, 43.3% of Kadima's members had voted; earlier in the evening, Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit expressed concern at the low turnout, urging eligible party members to vote.


Asked if he was deliberating his vote, Olmert answered, "I have no doubts." He spent a few moments behind the screen and after coming out spoke with ballot box officials about the voter turnout.


Referring to the numerous Qassam rockets that rained down on the Negev Wednesday he said, "The fire just stresses what we have been saying all along, which is that we cannot consent to a situation where there is a supposed lull, but reality is completely different. Of course this requires our attention, and there will be a response."


Earlier, Chairwoman Tzipi Livni cast her ballot at a Tel Aviv polling station and said, "We will elect a winning list."


Some 600 touch screens were placed in 95 polling stations across the country, which opened at 10 am and are scheduled to close at midnight. If there are no malfunctions, the results will be released shortly after the end of the vote, and the general election campaign will officially get under way. The Knesset elections will be held on February 10.


Attila Somfalvi contributed to the story


First published: 12.17.08, 20:29
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