Television personality turned politician Yair Lapid will have to report all of
his campaign’s donations to the state comptroller, even before he registers a
political party, according to the “Lapid Bill II”, which passed its final
Knesset readings on Wednesday.
The bill, proposed by House Committee
chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) and MKs Otniel Schneller (Kadima) and Daniel
Ben-Simon (Labor), would require any person or group that declares “in writing
or in speech, clearly or through behavior,” an intention to run for a Knesset
seat without joining an existing party to follow campaign finance laws and
report all donations and income.
The legislation passed with 32 MKs in
favor and 13 opposed.
According to Levin, the new law guarantees
transparency. Lapid should have revealed his donations of his own
volition, Levin said.
“Now that the law has passed, the public will know
‘where the money comes from,’” the Likud MK said, in reference to Lapid’s
campaign slogan, “Where is the money?”
The aspiring politician will have to open
a dedicated bank account, report any donations over NIS 50,000 to the state
comptroller within 14 days, and follow other campaign finance regulations as
well. Not reporting contributions carries a jail sentence of six months or a
Someone who announced his or her candidacy before the law was
passed, such as Lapid, will have to report all campaign contributions of over
NIS 10,000 to the comptroller within 30 days. The comptroller will then
publicize the details.
Earlier this week, State Comptroller’s Office
representative Shmuel Golan said there are 80 registered political parties that
are not represented in the Knesset, and that the two previous comptrollers chose
not to examine them.
Therefore, the law is unlikely to be effective,
unless the State Comptroller’s Office chooses to examine the inactive parties
with monetary activity. Golan said the change in policy is under consideration.