Jerusalem mayoral race narrows to religious and secular Jewish candidates

Source: Reuters

By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The race for mayor of Jerusalem, a role shaping Israel’s rule over the sacred city at the heart of its conflict with the Palestinians, will go to a run-off between religious and secular Jewish candidates, election tallies showed on Wednesday.

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Campaign posters of Jerusalem mayoral candidates Ofer Berkovitch (L) and Moshe Lion are seen on a building in Jerusalem October 31, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Moshe Lion, a skullcap-wearing bureaucrat favored by two key members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightist cabinet, will face off against Ofer Berkovitch, the 35-year-old deputy mayor, after they came out on top of Tuesday’s five-man contest – but neither with sufficient votes to win outright.

The ballot was held as part of nationwide Israeli municipal elections in which many candidates run as independents or on non-traditional party lists, making it difficult to gauge any broader political impact from the results.

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