Jerusalem Councilor Moshe Lion, who ran for mayor in the previous elections against Nir Barkat but later joined his faction, announced today that he intends to run for mayor in the upcoming elections.
In the last elections in November 2013, Barkat defeated Lion by a narrow margin, having received 51 percent of the votes, compared with Lion's 45 percent.
Lion's announcement follows Barkat's decision not to run for another term as mayor and instead to compete in the Likud's next Knesset elections.
"Five years ago, I decided to put my previous life aside and I allotted my efforts, abilities, and talents to the best interests of Jerusalem. I invested all my energy in the capital as a member of the city council and intensified my involvement in running the city," Lion noted.
"In recent years I've worked alongside Nir Barkat and I thank him for the period of joint activity. We worked together and took the city forward. I contributed a great deal to the city's development and today I'm more willing than ever to advance the capital of Israel even further."
Hitorerut movement Chairman and candidate for Jerusalem Mayor Ofer Berkowitz reacted to Barkat's resignation and said: "I thank Nir for his many years of work on behalf of Jerusalem, but now it's time to unite around the largest Zionist movement in Jerusalem, and I call upon all the city's residents to unite behind Hitorerut under my leadership and choose us - the natural choice in the upcoming elections."