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Rivlin: Voters gave Likud a yellow card
By LAHAV HARKOV
24/01/2013
Knesset speaker says party will draw conclusions from results; Knesset to hold a workshop to show 48 new MKs the parliamentary ropes.
 
Likud Beytenu needs to think about why it was weakened in the election and try to improve, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said on Thursday.

Using a soccer metaphor, Rivlin said “the public is not happy with the team it supported. Sometimes the [umpire] takes out yellow and red cards. The public gave a yellow card to the Likud, and we will draw conclusions and learn lessons [related] to our decline.”

Rivlin spoke to the press while visiting Central Elections Committee chairman Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, who was counting final votes from soldiers and prisoners.

Rivlin said he expects to continue in his current role after the 19th Knesset is sworn in on February 5.

“I worked to promote democracy, for the possibility of influencing and keeping the rules of the game,” he explained. “People voted for me not so I will be a minister; rather, they want me to continue in my job.”

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As for the coalition talks, Rivlin said that “a coalition’s weakness is also its strength, because everyone knows the coalition could fall apart. Therefore, coalition agreements cannot be ambiguous. Negotiations will be profound.”

At the same time, he predicted that some topics will have to be dealt with later on, because the sides will not be able to come to an agreement during preliminary talks.

Meanwhile, Knesset workers are preparing materials for a one-day workshop for the 48 new incoming MKs, so they can receive the tools of their trade. The course, which will take place on February 3, will be taught by several senior Knesset employees.

Knesset secretary Yardena Maller-Horowitz will discuss procedure with the group and explain how to propose a bill, and explain what parliamentary questions and motions to the agenda are.

Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon will describe the services his office provides, and new MKs will also learn about the Knesset Research and Information Center.

The 48 incoming lawmakers will also discover the logistics of working in the Knesset – such as how its computer system works and what their salary and benefits are.

“We’ll give them a first taste and tell them what they can expect,” Knesset spokesman Yotam Yakir explained. “It’s very important, especially in light of the large number of new MKs.”

The course will continue for at least one more day after the Knesset is already sworn in, because, as Yakir put it, “it is impossible to teach everything in one day.”

He added that the workshop is not a new idea, and had been attended by previous incoming Knesset members.
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