Moshe Mizrahi 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Mayors who are indicted for crimes will have to suspend themselves from their
position if a bill by MK Moshe Mizrahi (Labor) is passed.
submitted the legislation – drafted with the help of the good-governance NGO
Movement for Quality Government – earlier this week in an effort to fight
corruption in municipalities.
According to the bill, a mayor or his
deputy will have to take a leave of absence if he or she is indicted. The
legislation also sets a maximum time-frame for the trial of an elected official
who suspended him or herself. The current law states that a mayor’s term ends if
he or she is convicted of a crime.
“We all know the famous legal
principle that people are innocent until they are proven guilty, but we must be
more strict with elected officials, and when they are indicted, they should take
an immediate leave of absence,” Mizrahi explained.
The Labor MK added
that his bill is meant to minimize the possibility of mayors using their
position to try to influence the outcome of their trials, and to stop
municipality workers from fearing they will lose their jobs if they testify
against the mayor.
In addition, Mizrahi hopes the legislation will
prevent trials from being too long and drawn-out.
Mizrahi’s bill is
signed mostly by Labor and Meretz MKs, but two coalition lawmakers, MKs Elazar
Stern (Hatnua) and Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), co-sponsored the legislation.