TEL AVIV (Jun. 21)
Voting in the bitterly contested Histadrut elections began this morning accompanied by waves of disorder, violent clashes at some polling stations and complaints alleging fraud which began reaching the Histadrut Central Elections Committee here at an early hour.
The voter turn-out has been high, as expected. Throughout the day, cars bearing the insignia of the various contesting parties carried voters to the polls. Government offices closed early to allow employees to cast their ballots.
Early returns are not expected before midnight local time and the final results will not be known until tomorrow. At stake is control of Israel’s giant trade union federation, described by some as a government in its own right. The Labor Party and its various predecessors have dominated Histadrut since its founding 56 years ago. Today’s elections represent the first serious challenge to Labor’s hegemony, by Likud which won the national elections five weeks ago.