PM makes it harder to convene Knesset in summer

Leftist parties wanted to lower the number of MKs required to only 20 so they could force Knesset to convene whenever they wanted.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
June 20, 2012 03:50
1 minute read.
The Knesset

The Knesset 390 (R). (photo credit: Ammar Awad / Reuters)

 
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Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin tried unsuccessfully on Tuesday to persuade Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to lower the number of MKs necessary for a special Knesset session during the parliament’s long summer recess.

By law, signatures of 25 MKs are needed for a special session during a Knesset recess. The current opposition has 26 MKs, including 22 from leftist parties and four from the far-right National Union, making a special session during the July 25 to October 15 recess unlikely.

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Leftist parties wanted to lower the number of MKs required to only 20 so they could force the Knesset to convene whenever they wanted. Rivlin supported their request but Netanyahu and coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin did not agree.

“We have seen in politics that the wheel turns and ruling parties find themselves in a small, divided opposition,” Rivlin said. “The law should set clear rules for situations where coalitions are large so the opposition can continue to fill its role.”

Netanyahu also did not agree to lower the 40 MKs required to force him to address the Knesset when it is in session. He instead promised to speak to the parliament once within the next month before the summer recess and twice during the Knesset’s five-month winter session. Under normal circumstances, the opposition summons the prime minister once a month.

The opposition’s request to head the powerful Knesset Economics Committee was also rejected. But Netanyahu and Elkin did agree to give the opposition a committee of lesser importance and to add a member of the opposition to the Central Elections Committee.

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