The Deal that Saved Barkat

Barkat reportedly convinced hareidi candidate to stay in the race, drawing votes from Leon.

Maayana Miskin,

Barkat and Leon
Barkat and Leon
Flash 90

Newly reelected Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat may have won thanks to a deal with hareidi-religious candidate Chaim Epstein, Channel 10’s Raviv Drucker reports.

Barkat’s staff reportedly struck a deal with Epstein under which the latter would remain in the race despite his small chances of winning. The hope was that Epstein would win votes from hareidi-religious residents of Jerusalem who would otherwise have voted for his front-running challenger, Moshe Lion.

In exchange, Epstein was told that he would be the first invited into Barkat’s coalition, and would be appointed as deputy mayor and offered a salary.

Sources close to Barkat who spoke to Drucker confirmed that Epstein will be joining Barkat’s coalition, and said he will also be joining a special city committee that will advise Barkat regarding the future of Jerusalem, and specifically, projects that are important to the city’s hareidi-religious population.

The elections results in Jerusalem were fairly close, with Barkat winning by 12,000 votes, which gave him a 6% lead over Lion.