President, MKs spar over Rabin memorial

Half of Knesset refuses to attend Beit Hanassi ceremony as Katsav announces intent to shun Knesset ceremony.

October 30, 2006 23:22
1 minute read.
President, MKs spar over Rabin memorial

rabin grave 88. (photo credit: )

The eleven-year anniversary of the death of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin has turned into a face-off between President Moshe Katsav and the Knesset, as each announced Monday they would shun the other's memorial ceremony. More than half of the MKs have announced they will not attend a memorial service at Beit Hanassi Wednesday, while officials at the president's office said that Katsav would not be present during the Knesset's ceremony Thursday. Katsav's lawyers have been increasingly critical of what they call the "meddling" of MKs who have increasingly called for Katsav's resignation since the police recommended that he be indicted on suspicion of committing a series of sex offenses. "The Knesset does not have the right to declare Katsav guilty; it is irresponsible behavior," said Zion Amir, chief defense attorney for the president. The Knesset does, however, have the right to remove Kastav from office, a move they began to make in earnest Monday when MKs Ruhama Avraham (Kadima) and Yitzhak Galanti (Gil Pensioners Party) announced they had collected the mandatory 20 signatures to begin Knesset hearings to impeach Katsav. Although MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) has long been trying to collect the necessary MKs, Galanti and Avraham were able to amass the support of coalition MKs. As early as next Wednesday, the Knesset House Committee - where Avraham is chairwoman - will begin discussing Katsav's impeachment. In order to remove Katsav from office, the committee will need to pass the measure by a two-thirds vote. The vote then moves to the plenum, where 90 of the 120 MKs must vote in favor of impeachment.

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