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Likud’s Yariv Levin appointed interim Knesset speaker as new coalition starts legislative blitz

Netanyahu has until Dec. 21 to finalize all his coalition agreements and form a new government

Newly appointed speaker of the Knesset Yariv Levin (R) with outgoing speaker Mickey Levy during a plenum session in the Knesset, Dec. 13, 2022. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel's parliament, the Knesset, approved a new speaker on Tuesday morning when it voted in Yariv Levin from the Likud party.

Originally scheduled for Monday, the opposition managed to delay the vote by one day with the threat of a filibuster. But on Tuesday, all the expected coalition lawmakers allied with Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu voted for Levin. 

Outgoing Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy expressed his hope that Levin will “know how to safeguard the checks and balances in order to maintain the dignity of the legislative authority.” 

After the vote, Levin said he would do everything in his power “to fulfill this mission, recognizing the importance of the Knesset.” 

Levin’s role is temporary, however, while the Likud party is still finalizing its own members’ roles in the new government. Although now, with the speaker’s successful appointment, the coalition can begin to vote on a number of controversial bills aimed at securing coalition partnerships. 

Three of the bills that are being considered this evening include one to expand powers for the new position of national security minister likely to be filled by Itamar Ben Gvir; a bill to transfer authority over Judea and Samaria to the Religious Zionism party; and a bill to allow Shas leader Aryeh Deri to serve as minister, despite his conviction for tax fraud. 

The coalition partners want these laws passed in order to secure their positions and finalize their agreements with Netanyahu, who has until Dec. 21 to finalize these agreements and form a new government. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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