Arab lawmakers accept raising electoral threshold

A representative of the Israel Democracy Institute urged the MKs to raise the threshold gradually over the next two elections, starting by changing it from 2 to 2.5 percent.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
February 11, 2014 01:31
1 minute read.
MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad)

Jamal Zahalka. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

MKs representing Arab parties spoke in favor of raising the electoral threshold for the first time Monday at a meeting of the Knesset Law and Constitution committee.

A representative of the Israel Democracy Institute urged the MKs to raise the threshold gradually over the next two elections, starting by changing it from 2 to 2.5 percent.

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Balad MK Jamal Zahalka said he would accept raising the threshold if it happened gradually.

But he said that to give parties time to prepare, the process of raising the threshold should only begin in the election after the next one.

United Torah Judaism MK Uri Maklev suggested raising the threshold only for new parties.

But the meeting on the threshold ended without any of the new ideas being adopted.

The MKs are instead expected to vote some time over the next month to raise the threshold to 3.25% already in the next election.

Yesh Atid plans to propose an alternative clause that would raise the threshold to 4%. Due to a successful maneuver by opposition MKs, the vote on the threshold will be separate from the rest of the electoral reform legislation.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu urged his Likud Beytenu faction Monday to take urgent steps to enable the government to function better.

He wants all the electoral reform legislation to pass before the Knesset recess begins March 19.


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