Mayoral incumbent Moshe Abutbul, who won the 2013 vote, had appealed against the court order to hold new elections. Abutbul argued that the 2013 elections represented the democratic choice made by Beit Shemesh residents. The elections were ordered by a lower court after allegations of fraud in the election last October.
Abutbul and his supporters say the alleged cases of fraud would not have been enough to change the outcome of the vote. The legal system has disagreed: Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is among those who argued that there was “reasonable cause to suspect” that the elections had been tainted, and a Jerusalem court agreed.