Yossi Dagan, New Samaria Regional Council Head

Acting council head wins by wide margin in special elections, Science Minister Danon congratulates victory of 'Zionist enterprise.'

Yoni Kempinski ,

Yossi Dagan on election day
Yossi Dagan on election day
Flash 90

Elections for the Samaria Regional Council were held on Tuesday, and current acting regional council head Yossi Dagan won by a large majority.

Dagan, who served as the deputy of his predecessor Gershon Mesika, became acting council head after Mesika became a state witness in the large-scale corruption scandal mainly surrounding senior sources in Yisrael Beytenu.

After Mesika stepped down, the special regional council elections were declared, in which Dagan competed with Sraya Damaski and Eli Rozenfeld. A fourth contender quit the race last week.

Dagan, who was expelled from Sa-Nur in northern Samaria in the 2005 Disengagement plan and has been pushing efforts to repeal the expulsion, received wide support from public figures.

Science and Technology Minister Danny Danon (Likud) congratulated Dagan on his victory Tuesday night.

"I congratulate Yossi Dagan for his victory today in the elections for the head of the Samaria Regional Council," said Danon in a statement.

"I have no doubt that Yossi will continue to lead Samaria to impressive achievements in all fields, and together we will work to develop the Zionist enterprise in Judea and Samaria," concluded Danon.

Dagan's chief competitor, Sraya Damaski, wrote to his supporters after the results were known: "friends, we lost with honor! And that's also something we need to know how to do."

"In the last two months we gave our souls for Samaria, for the residents and for the entire settlement. ...Not for money or for jobs or personal interest. I'm convinced that with Yossi Dagan it was the same. When so many people in Samaria invest energy and time to turn it into a better place - that's basically the greatest victory," wrote Damaski.