Voting under way in Israel for mayoral elections

President Shimon Peres casting his vote (Photo: GPO)

President Shimon Peres casting his vote (Photo: GPO)

Polls opened around Israel this morning as 191 cities and towns held local elections.

Registered citizens aged 17 and over - more than five million Israelis - will be able to vote for mayors and other local officials until 10pm tonight.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday: “Municipal elections are important. You can decide who will continue the momentum, the progress and the development.”

He added: “We are doing all that on a national level and we need strong, experienced and talented people to continue it on a local level.”

Over 248,000 will be voting for the first time since the last municipal elections five years ago. There will also be more than 2,000 extra ballot boxes.

In the first ballot, voters select the candidate they want as head of their local authority. In the second, they choose a party to represent them in the municipal or council assembly.

Results are expected around midnight.

Last updated: 9:33am, October 22 2013