President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday received the official results of the elections to the 21st Knesset from Chairman of the Central Elections Committee abd Deputy President of the Supreme Court Judge Hanan Melcer. The president said, “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.”
His reference to trust had to do with the anger of many Israelis about apparent irregularities either in counting the votes or synchronizing the accumulating vote data reports with the results that were displayed on the central elections committee’s website. Indeed, when Judge Melcer read several explanations about glitches, he appeared like the proverbial grandfather with an AOL account.
“I am glad that the various problems were resolved. It is important that every Israeli citizen knows that their vote is counted,” the president said, adding, “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.”
The president related to the voter turn-out, which was lower this time than in previous elections, saying “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.”
Judge Melcer said: “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.”
Good idea. A disenfranchised citizenry is more likely to choose desperate measures than one that feels it is being heard.