‘Human error’ at Israel elections committee allows right-wing party to run for Knesset

Labor vowed to go to the Supreme Court on Thursday to overrule the elections committee after the absence of a Labor member led to the right-wing Otzma Yehudit party getting through.

By World Israel News Staff 

The nationalist Otzma Yehudit party narrowly survived a vote in the Central Elections Committee on Wednesday over whether it should be barred from running in the September 17 Knesset election, but the final word has yet to be said.

The committee – which oversees the election process –  is predominantly a political body, with party representatives voting.

The vote’s tally on the Otzma Yehudit candidacy was a tie: 15-15.

Though the Labor party was one of the factions issuing a request to bar Otzma Yehudit from running, one of its two representatives was absent from the vote, preventing passage of the disqualification.

The argument against Otzma Yehudit is that it is “racist.” The Central Elections Committee banned one of its candidates from the April Knesset election.

Labor says that the absence of one of its committee representatives was due to “human error.”

It vowed to go to the Supreme Court on Thursday in a bid to overrule the elections committee. The court has been known to reverse committee decisions.

Otzma Yehudit, without its one disqualified candidate, ran in April as part of the United Right list, now renamed Yemina.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was criticized by the AIPAC pro-Israel lobby group in Washington for encouraging Otzma Yehudit’s inclusion in the last election.

Netanyahu had argued that the right had to join forces to prevent the loss of votes caused by smaller parties running alone and not gaining enough public support to enter the Israeli parliament.

Otzma Yehudit did not reach an agreement with a new unified right-wing list that it is running in September and therefore would be on its own if, in fact, allowed to contend in the parliamentary ballot.