Avigdor Liberman 370.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman abandoned his efforts to persuade the
Knesset to abolish no-confidence votes on Sunday, telling the heads of the
factions in the coalition that he had revised his party’s electoral reform
The controversial legislation, proposed by Knesset Constitution,
Law, and Justice Committee chairman David Rotem, would have required a Knesset
majority in order to submit a no-confidence motion. The bill’s opponents have
said it would make submitting such motions nearly impossible, stifling
Liberman denied this was his intention, in a lengthy
letter he wrote to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yair
Lapid, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Tzipi
Livni. He said that though he still believed his reform plan was ideal, he toned
it down to enable it to pass.
“The [no-confidence motion] clause brought
about a wave of shallow, populist reactions,” Liberman wrote. “I believe
no-confidence motions are the primary tool the opposition has to fight the
government and it is important for safeguarding democracy. But the overuse of
this tool every week eroded it, losing its stature until it became almost
Liberman proposed that instead, each opposition
faction would be allowed to file one no-confidence motion a month and that they
would all be discussed the same day in the presence of the prime minister. He
said such a change, which would take effect with the next Knesset, would return
value to no-confidence motions while enabling the Knesset and the government to
focus on more serious work.
“Passing this version of the bill will
strengthen Israeli democracy and the ability of the government to govern while
restoring the Knesset’s relevance,” Liberman wrote.
would still limit the number of ministers to 18 and deputy ministers to four,
and raise the electoral threshold from 2 to 4 percent. It would cancel the law
that requires new elections if the budget does not pass.
Yesh Atid MK
Ronen Hoffman has submitted a rival bill that would also limit the number of
ministers to 18, adding that they can each hold one portfolio. The bill would
raise the minimum number of MKs required to pass a no-confidence motion from 61
Hoffman said his bill and Rotem’s would eventually be combined.