Planning and Building portfolio holder Meir Turjeman announced his candidacy for mayor of Jerusalem. In his announcement, Turjeman emphasized that he was born and raised in Jerusalem and declared that the city needed somebody as authentic as its residents. Turjeman also revealed his campaign slogan “Jerusalem is a way of life”.
Turjeman’s currently sits in the same party as Mayor Nir Barkat. In his statement, Turjeman said that “Jerusalem does not need to wait” possibly referring to Barkat’s ambivalence towards his third candidacy. Barkat originally announced he would declare whether he is running by last December. It is unclear if Turjeman intends to run under Barkat’s “Yerushalayim Tatzliach” party, but sources close to Turjeman implied that their camp is assuming that Barkat is not running. In 2012, Barkat called the police to remove Turjeman from a council meeting.
As of now, four politicians have declared their candidacy. Turjeman, former municipality legal counsel Yossi Havilio, head of the Hitorerut party Ofer Berkovitch and former Barkat adviser Avi Salman. Barkat is expected to decide whether he is running soon. It is possible that he is waiting to see how national events such as Prime Minister Netanyahu’s legal troubles play out before making his decision.
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