Druse activist Shakib Shanan will be sworn in to the Knesset on Wednesday after
Knesset legal authorities ruled Tuesday he was not subject to legal regulations
that would have prevented him from becoming an MK.
Shanan will take the
place of Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i, who resigned from the
Knesset Sunday night.
He was the next name on Labor’s list but he was
legally permitted to choose between entering Labor or the Independence faction,
and he chose the latter.
The legal question centered on the high-ranking
post Shanan had in the northern branch of the Social Welfare Ministry. Knesset
legal adviser Eyal Yinon was asked whether that post legally required Shanan to
renounce his Knesset candidacy when he received it.
After consulting with
the ministry’s human resources department, Yinon ruled Shanan’s post was not
high enough to cause him a problem.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin
informed a relieved Shanan of the decision Tuesday morning.
been barred from entering the Knesset, Vilna’i would instead have been replaced
by the candidate after him on Labor’s list, former MK Yoram Marciano, a social
affairs activist loyal to Labor MK Amir Peretz.
Netanyahu did not approve
pursuing Vilna’i’s appointment as ambassador to China until he was certain
Shanan would join Independence and not Labor and the coalition would not lose an
MK to the opposition.
An Independence Party spokesman welcomed Yinon’s
said Shanan would give a significant boost to the five-man Independence faction,
which had only one MK who was not a minister.
Shanan was a Labor MK from
May 2008 until the last general election in February 2009, joining the Knesset
after the resignation of MK Ephraim Sneh.
He is from the northern Druse
Vilna’i will remain home front defense minister until
he leaves for China. If he is replaced in the post, it is possible it will go to
Minister-without- Portfolio Yossi Peled (Likud).
Marciano could still end
up entering the current Knesset.
Labor MK Eitan Cabel will go to the Tel
Aviv District Court on Thursday to challenge a ruling by a Histadrut internal
court that prevented him from seeking the chairmanship of the powerful labor
If Cabel is prevented from running, Peretz could end up running
instead. If either Cabel or Peretz defeat Histadrut chief Ofer Eini in next
month’s election, they would have to quit the Knesset and Marciano would enter.