Shlomo Ne'eman
Shlomo Ne'emanPR photo

Shlomo Ne’eman was elected on Tuesday evening to head the Gush Etzion Regional Council, having won the majority needed to win the election in the first round.

Ne’eman won 46.4 percent of the votes, compared to only 36.6 percent for the Acting Head of the Council, Moshe Seville. A third candidate, Moshe Berniker, won 16.5 percent of the vote.

The voter turnout was relatively low - about 49 percent.

Ne’eman, 43, is a resident of Karmei Tzur, a married father of five and grandfather of two. He made Aliyah to Israel from the Soviet Union at the age of 17 and studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Gush Etzion.

Ne’eman established several Zionist organizations, served in various executive positions at the Jewish Agency, and in his most recent role was a senior adviser to Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud).

He replaces former Gush Etzion Regional Council chief Davidi Perl, who announced in October that he would step down after allegations surfaced that he sexually harassed a woman and paid her hundreds of thousands of shekels to prevent her from going public.

In his victory speech on Tuesday night, Ne’eman thanked his supporters and said, "Today we are all Gush Etzion. Everyone wins. The journey towards sovereignty over Gush Etzion starts tonight."