The Tel Aviv District Court ruled on Thursday that the counting of votes will continue. This was done with the consent of both parties. Shelly Yachimovich, who had pleaded for alleged irregularities in the Histadrut leadership elections with Avi Nissenkorn, accepted the proposal of the President of the District Court, Justice Eitan Ornstein, to end the counting of votes and continue to examine the ballot boxes that require examination. At the same time, she announced she would petition the court to invalidate the elections.
"We are under a flood of requests from many people who want to file affidavits attesting to the massive and systematic falsification of the elections," said Yachimovich as she left the court. "At the moment, we will focus on the petition that is submitted for the disqualification of the elections," she added.
Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn said, "I am happy. This is a victory for democracy, a victory for the workers and retirees. These are elections with the highest percentage of voters since 2005. You have to let the voters show their will at the polls. We will see the results tonight."
On Wednesday night, Habayit Hahevrati (the Socioeconomic Home), headed by MK Shelly Yachimovich, submitted a petition that claimed hundreds of ballots were found damaged and intentionally vandalized, and that irregularities were found in ballot amounts, which raised concerns the election results were not genuine.
The election committee's spokesman said the committee respects the judge's decision, and that vote counting has been stopped.
Yachimovich welcomed the court's decision, asserting that "This is further proof that we are dealing with the most corrupt election that has ever been. It turns out that not only were workers threatened they would lose their jobs (by Nissenkorn's people), but that a system was established to that end. It was the method by which Nissenkorn's faction warned the workers that their vote was not confidential."
Nissenkorn's campaign lamented the decision, saying "This is a crushing victory that is expected to increase, with an unprecedented percentage of eligible voters going to the polls. We regret that Yachimovich is not accepting her defeat, and is continuing the campaign of complaints and slander that she has been conducting over the past three months.
"The impression is that Shelly's goal is to harm the Histadrut, the workers' committees, organized labor in Israel, and over 240,000 voters—the largest number of voters in the past 20 years. Shelly's behavior is shameful and embarrassing. She is not showing respect to the voters' clear wishes and is trying to undermine the democratic process through unfounded slander."
Preliminary, incomplete voting results show Nissenkorn is leading with around 59 percent of the vote, while Yachimovich got 41 percent of the vote.
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)