7:30 AM: Knesset Member Tzipi Hotovely has fallen behind Avi Dichter by 55 votes for the 20th place on the Likud list of candidates during a partial recount, but the number is not final. In addition, the Likud party is considering whether to order a full recount of the votes in last week’s primary elections.
10:51 PM: Hotovely has taken the lead over Dichter by several votes in the recount that still is not final. If she holds the lead, she will be in the 20th place and virtually guaranteed to return to the Knesset.
MK Hotovely appealed to a Likud party committee Sunday for a recount of 15 ballot boxes where there are serious questions of a correct tally in last week’s primaries that left her in the 26th place on the Likud list of candidates.
The Likud is weathering serious embarrassment over the fact that only two women, Miri Regev and Gila Gamaliel, were nominated to realistic places on the Likud ticket.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants Hotovely back in the Knesset, and if reports – unconfirmed but from highly reliable sources – are correct, he can thank her for helping dump MK Moshe Feiglin to an unrealistic spot.
Netanyahu has the option of placing Hotovely in a guaranteed spot reserved for a woman if the recount does not bump her up five places in place of Avi Dichter, who was ahead of her by only 754 votes before the recount erased the gap.
Aides to Hotovely said “people voted but their votes were not counted.”
Among other problems in the tally, 400 votes from Judea and Samaria are missing, and in one community in the Galilee, 200 voters were cast but 250 were counted.
In Netivot, one of the seven polling stations did not come up with a single vote for Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who was in the top five at the end of the nationwide count of ballots
The legal adviser to the Likud party said, “Published results are not the final and official count.”
Hotovely is extremely popular among the national camp and especially in Judea and Samaria. She also has the advantage of being good-looking, a serious factor the success of many politicians all over the world.
Her image of a right-winger does not compare with that of Feiglin, who for years has been the black sheep of the Likud party. Netanyahu and the Likud mayor of Modi’in engineered behind the scenes to get rid of him.