With the clock ticking for Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government and a legislative blitz on the agenda, the opposition managed to delay a vote on replacing the present speaker of the Knesset with a candidate from Netanyahu’s party.
Instead of having the vote today as planned, a successful filibuster by the incoming opposition pushed the vote till tomorrow.
The race to appoint a speaker from the presumed incoming coalition led by Netanyahu is designed to push through a series of legislative changes that will facilitate the new government in various ways.
For example, one of the bills is to change the law to allow a Knesset member who has a suspected sentence to become a minister. Currently, one is allowed to serve in the Knesset with such a conviction, but not assume the role of minister.
Specifically, the bill is an amendment designed to change the law to allow Shas party chief Aryeh Deri, whose party has 12 seats, to serve as interior minister, health minister and later as finance minister despite a suspended sentence for tax fraud earlier this year.
But the opposition managed to stave off what is highly likely, at least for another day.
“Nothing is going right for Netanyahu as the coalition takes get out of hand and it is only going to intensify,” said Gil Hoffman, director of Honest Reporting, during a speech at the Christian Media Summit.
Hoffman said that part of the hold up is that Likud politicians are upset with not getting picked for top positions. Deals have been brokered between Netanyahu and three other parties including plum portfolios. But little is left for members of Likud – which garnered 32 seats in the last election – to split amongst them.
Likud Knesset Member Yariv Levin is the designated speaker. With the incoming coalition in control of the Knesset, the parties will be able to advance their legislative agenda.
Netanyahu has until Dec. 21 to form a government after receiving a 10-day extension.
Two other bills that the presumed coalition wants to forward are an expansion of powers for the national security minister and another to install a new position in charge of Israel’s West Bank.
Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS