Nir Barkat
Nir Barkat Hillel Maeir/TPS

Outgoing Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Wednesday endorsed Moshe Lion as the next mayor of Jerusalem.

"I believe that electing Moshe Lion in the second round means choosing the good of Jerusalem, and that is why I decided to support him," Barkat said.

"Moshe Lion has the ability to lead the city for the benefit of all its residents. With Moshe Lion, Jerusalem will succeed. From my close acquaintance with the two candidates and my work with both of them, I have no doubt that Moshe Lion is the best choice for Jerusalem," he continued.

"After many conversations with Moshe, in which he presented his way and plans to lead the city, I was convinced that he intends to lead Jerusalem through dialogue with all sectors, and that all of them would be equal to him, so that there would be a continuation of the way I led Jerusalem in the last decade," he concluded.

A runoff will be held in Jerusalem next Tuesday between Lion and Ofer Berkovitch, after neither candidate won an absolute majority in the first round on October 30.

Prior to the first round, Berkovitch campaigned in part on limiting haredi influence, but later struck a conciliatory note, sending what he called a “message of unity between different sectors”.

Lion, a member of the city’s National Religious community and a Likud party member who lost to Barkat in the 2013 mayoral election, thanked him for his support on Wednesday.

"I thank Nir for his support, it is especially dear to me. I intend to continue to lead Jerusalem as one united city, where there is room for every person and sector, as Nir did successfully," said Lion.

"I have always been in favor of unity and in favor of a uniting dialogue. I intend to establish a broad and stable coalition that will be based on the basic principles of the Barkat coalition while maintaining the status quo. I believe that by seeing the other and his needs, maintaining a constant dialogue with mutual respect and understanding, we can work together to continue the development of Jerusalem and to meet the needs of everyone," he added.