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Computer woes force Likud to extend hours in primary vote

JTA

November 25, 2012 | 11:22 am

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) stands with his wife Sara as he hands his identity card to a worker (not seen) before casting his ballot for the Likud party leadership election at a polling station in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Givat Zeev, near Jerusalem on November 25. Photo by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) stands with his wife Sara as he hands his identity card to a worker (not seen) before casting his ballot for the Likud party leadership election at a polling station in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Givat Zeev, near Jerusalem on November 25. Photo by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Polls will remain open past midnight in Likud Party primary voting following computer malfunctions at several polling stations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the chairman of the ruling Likud, made the announcement Sunday of the longer voting hours following malfunctions at several stations, including the 80 computerized voting systems at Jerusalem's main polling station at the International Convention Center.

The problems led to calls by party leaders to postpone the vote after voters were turned away at some polling stations or left without casting their ballots after waiting a long time.

The party's 123,351 members are voting to select the Knesset list ahead of the Jan. 22 national elections. The polls opened at 9 a.m.

Some 97 Likud candidates are competing for 25 realistic spots on the Likud's Knesset list.

Meanwhile, Yair Lapid, head of the newly formed centrist party Yesh Atid, or There is a Future, said Sunday that he had offered former Kadima Party head Tzipi Livni the second slot on his party's list, and promised that she would be a full partner in all major decisions.

"Splitting the centrist bloc is not good for Israel, and I am calling her to join forces and change the country together," he wrote on his Facebook page.

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