Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich 370 (R).
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich plans to revive her bill requiring elected
officials to reveal their business and other interests, she announced on
Yacimovich’s move follows Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s
decision on Monday not to make changes in his personal investment portfolio,
even though his request to do so was approved by the State Comptroller’s
The Labor leader plans to put her 2009 bill back on the agenda
when the Knesset’s winter session begins in October, which would require elected
officials to submit an annual disclosure report, detailing their connections
that could lead to potential conflicts of interest.
The report would be
available to the general public, and the state comptroller can decide whether a
connection is problematic.
The purpose of the legislation, Yacimovich
explained, is to reveal the officials’ affairs to the public, in order to
prevent conflicts of interest and putting personal priorities over the good of
The bill would apply to MKs, local authority councilmen and
candidates for those positions, as well as ministers that are not
“Disclosing public figures’ interests is necessary in a
democracy,” Yacimovich said. “Not only must the public know if the people they
elected have other interests, but it will create a better environment of
transparency and integrity.”
According to the Labor leader, disclosure
reports are not an invasion of privacy because economic interests are not
personal, and the average citizen should be able to know how much property and
wealth politicians have.
Yacimovich pointed out that MKs and ministers
already report their wealth, but called the existing system “useless, because
they are locked in the Knesset Ethics Committee’s vaults, and can only be viewed
by law authorities under special circumstances.”