PM vows bills on electoral reform, draft, and referendum

Netanyahu said he would make sure the draft bill would not cause rifts in the nation.

October 15, 2013 01:11
1 minute read.
Netanyahu during cabinet meeting to vote on Palestinian prisoners release, July 28, 2013.

Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 370. (photo credit: Koby Gideon/GPO)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to negotiate a deal between the heads of the parties in his coalition in order to pass bills on electoral reform, drafting yeshiva students and holding a referendum on relinquishing land.

Speaking to his Likud Beytenu faction, Netanyahu said those would be the three key missions for his coalition in the winter Knesset session, along with his housing reform plan and laws to crack down on illegal infiltration by migrant workers.

“I will try to reach an agreement with the party heads in the coalition that will enable us to pass the bills, either together or in stages,” Netanyahu said.

“[These bills] must be passed because they are important to the people of Israel. We are back with new energy to work for Israel’s citizens.”

Netanyahu said he would make sure the draft bill would not cause rifts in the nation. He said the referendum bill was intended to enable the public to decide on diplomatic agreements.

All he would say about electoral reforms was that they were being worked on and that they would pass.

Netanyahu has instructed coalition chairman Yariv Levin to work on an agreement with the opposition to ease the electoral reforms. For instance, the electoral threshold is likely to be raised to 3 percent, and not the 4% that is currently in the bill.

Levin said all the parties in the coalition would have to compromise to enable all three bills can pass. He predicted the Knesset’s winter session, which began Monday, would be “long, stormy, and interesting.”

In a sign that challenges to the coalition are ahead, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid vowed Monday to advance matters of religion and state that his allies in Bayit Yehudi are sure to oppose. Lapid said his party would fight for public transportation on Shabbat in secular neighborhoods and civil marriage, including for homosexuals.

“We are not an anti-religious party,” Lapid told his faction. “We have more rabbis than almost any faction.

All we want is for poor grandfathers to be able to visit their grandchildren on Shabbat, not just rich grandfathers.”

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