Knesset heads back to work after five months

Legislative work to begin only after government is formed; Knesset speaker Edelstein calls for shorter coalition-building period.

May 4, 2015 06:31
1 minute read.
The Knesset

The Knesset building in Givat Ram, Jerusalem. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The Knesset is to return to regular activity Monday, more than five months after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired then-ministers Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, kicking off this year’s election.

The 20th Knesset was sworn in on March 31, but immediately adjourned for the Passover recess. On Monday, the Knesset will begin its summer session, which is usually three months long.

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However, the Knesset’s legislative work will not begin in earnest until the new government is sworn in and committee chairmen are appointed, which is likely to happen next week.

Instead, on Monday, lawmakers will be able to give one-minute speeches, which will consist of inaugural speeches for new MKs. On Tuesday and Wednesday, there will be more inaugural speeches.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called on Sunday for the law to be changed to shorten the amount of time coalition negotiations are allowed to take.

“Unfortunately, as every time, when there is a period of 28 days plus 14, they are exhausted until the very end, and I think it is a bit excessive. They won’t uncover some faction that they hadn’t thought of to join the coalition. The information is clear,” he told the Knesset Channel. “If there were only three weeks [to form a coalition], they could handle it.”

In addition, on Monday the Knesset is to mark Herzl Day with speeches by Edelstein, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor).

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