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Labor Party Appeals Results of Israeli Vote

<i> Associated Press</i>

The opposition Labor Party asked Jerusalem’s district court on Wednesday to invalidate the results of last month’s election, claiming widespread fraud was behind former Prime Minister Shimon Peres’ narrow loss.

The appeal was submitted on the final day for contesting election results.

A Labor Party random check of 57 polling stations concluded that tens of thousands of ballots were cast illegally but not annulled by election authorities, Channel 2 television reported. Benjamin Netanyahu of the conservative Likud Party defeated Peres by about 29,500 votes, about 0.9% of the total.

Analysts said the courts are unlikely to grant the appeal.

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Netanyahu, whose Cabinet was approved by the Knesset a day earlier, officially moved into the prime minister’s office Wednesday.

Handing over the office he held for about six months after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Peres said the path to peace will not be easy. “Israel is near the top of the mountain, but there are mines on the way to the peak,” he said in a speech that seemed intended to instruct his 46-year-old successor.


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