(photo credit: KNESSET SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)
Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government will not go to the President’s Residence for their ceremonial photograph until Tuesday, but they already had to survive their first vote of no confidence in them Monday at the Knesset.
The no-confidence motion, proposed by Yesh Atid, fell by a 59-56 vote. It said the government should be dissolved because it will not keep Netanyahu’s promise to implement within five years the proposals of a government-appointed anti-poverty committee that was led by Eli Alalouf, who has since been elected to the Knesset with Kulanu.
“This issue will not disappear,” Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid promised at his weekly faction meeting. “We will put the issue back on the agenda again and again. We are public servants. It is our duty to put a stop to this corruption at the expense of the public purse, so that the money will be invested in welfare, health, education and of course the development of the periphery.”
The previous Knesset decided to limit factions to proposing one no-confidence motion a month. The factions in the opposition intend to alternate and each propose one every week.
The minister in charge of the liaison with the Knesset, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, told the Knesset plenum that he was disappointed Yesh Atid filed what he called a frivolous no-confidence motion after the party took steps in the previous Knesset to try to limit such parliamentary maneuvers to when they are serious and potentially effective.
The new rules require parties that submit no-confidence motions to propose an alternative government with coalition guidelines and candidates for key posts. Yesh Atid’s proposal recommended Lapid for prime minister, faction head Ofer Shelah for defense minister, and former Knesset Committee for the Status of Women chair Aliza Lavie to head the new ministry for gender equality being created for Likud minister Gila Gamliel.
When the Zionist Union proposes its first no-confidence motion, it will face a challenge, because its candidates for defense minister and finance minister are unclear.
It is expected to vote next week on who will head the faction and who will chair the Knesset Economics Committee.
Current faction chairman Eitan Cabel is running against former Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich for the committee chairmanship, and MKs Hilik Bar and Merav Michaeli are expected to square off to head the faction.
The identities of most of the chairmen of Knesset committees are already clear, though the identities of some chairmen, such as that of the Immigration and Absorption Committee, are still unknown.
Alalouf will head the Labor and Social Welfare Committee, Likud faction chairman Tzachi Hanegbi will chair the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Bayit Yehudi MK Nissan Slomiansky will head the Law and Constitution Committee, Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharar will chair the State Control Committee, United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni will be at the helm of the Finance Committee and his UTJ counterpart Uri Maklev will head the Science and Technology Committee.