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Abutbul Calls for Calm as Beit Shemesh Votes Again

Hareidi incumbent urges mutual respect during revote. Voter turnout remains high.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/11/2014, 5:50 PM

Moshe Abutbul
Moshe Abutbul
Hezki Ezra

Beit Shemesh incumbent mayoral candidate Moshe Abutbul urged calm on Tuesday as the city held mayoral elections a second time.

The city’s original elections, in which Abutbul was victorious, were overturned due to accusations of widespread fraud.

So far, Tuesday’s revote is going smoothly, Abutbul told Arutz Sheva. “There have been no untoward incidents, everything is fine. Voter turnout is good,” he reported.

Voter turnout stood at nearly 47% as of 3 p.m. Polls will close at 10.

The most important thing is that Beit Shemesh residents treat each other with respect, Abutbul declared. “We need to get through today peacefully. This is a critical day for us. I call on everyone listening to me here on Arutz Sheva to exercise restraint, and to show respect.

“It’s important that this not cause permanent scars [to the city],” he added.

Abutbul took issue with those who say that, as the hareidi candidate, he will take the city in the wrong direction. “Did I not serve in the army? Do I not do reserves duty? Do I not pay taxes?... What do they want from me?” he asked.

“We need to know what’s good for the city, and to leave national politics out of it,” he argued. “We aren’t returning territory here, we aren’t enlisting yeshiva students.

“What should concern residents is who built four malls, highways, Yad L’Banim, who gave scholarships for students,” he said.