President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday received the official results of the elections to the 21st Knesset at Beit HaNasi from Chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Deputy President of the Supreme Court Judge Hanan Melcer.
At the beginning of his remarks, the president noted the vital role that the Central Elections Committee plays in ensuring the elections are free and fair, and thanked the members of the committee and Judge Melcer, saying “the members of the committee worked with a sense of civic duty, honesty and fairness in order to ensure all candidates were equal in the eyes of the law and the voters. I am glad that the various problems were resolved. It is important that every Israeli citizen knows that their vote is counted.”
The president added, “in this election campaign we faced challenges we had not encountered before. On one hand, we saw that technology is an important tool in raising transparency and accessibility. This year, for the first time, there was a pilot scheme to allow blind and partially-sighted people to vote without assistance, using a new device. On the other hand, technology can also be used as a weapon for attacking political opponents. The members of the committee stood up to this dangerous trend and said ‘Cursed be those who attack their neighbors in secret’ (Deuteronomy 27:24). Anonymity does not exempt you from the rules of the democratic game. A computer screen is not a suit of armor.”
The president related to the voter turn-out, which was lower this time than in previous elections, saying “From now, our task is to raise trust, strengthen the public’s involvement in political discourse and encourage as many people as possible to use their democratic right and duty. Over the last two days, I have held consultations with representatives of the parties elected by Israel’s citizens and soon I will entrust the candidate who was recommended by them with the task of forming a government. I hope that we will soon be able to get back to our normal daily lives, led by a strong and stable government that reflects the will of the people as far as possible and allows representation of more forces. Congratulations to the State of Israel for holding free and fair democratic elections Congratulations to the candidates and thank you to the Central Elections Committee.”
Chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Deputy President of the Supreme Court Judge Hanan Melcer: “Over the last few days, unfortunately, there have been attempts to challenge the legitimacy of the elections by submitting appeals. These have all been investigated by us as a matter of routine, on our own instigation. Every appeal is investigated. In addition, and as an exception, in line with the transparency that has been part of the work of the committee, I instructed that all our discussions would be open just as the president did with his consultations. We did this for all meetings of the committee and also published the results in real time for the public to see.”
At 7 pm the president will formally receive Benjamin Netanyahu, the candidate whom he decided to task with forming the government. At 8:05 pm Rivlin will sign the letter of appointment of the candidate to form the government, and hand it over to him.