Summer electoral reform sessions irk opposition

8 meetings on electoral reform to fall during Knesset's summer vacation; Labor spokesman says intention to annoy opposition.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 8, 2013 17:24
1 minute read.
David Rotem

David Rotem 370. (photo credit: Jeremy Sharon)

 
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Knesset Law and Constitution Committee chairman David Rotem (Yisrael Beytenu) upset opposition MKs Wednesday when he invited them to eight meetings on electoral reform during the Knesset’s summer recess.

The opposition had hoped to stall the controversial legislation that would raise the electoral threshold and limit the number of ministers that can be appointed and no-confidence motions that can be presented.

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But Rotem decided to expedite the bills by inviting experts to meet with the committee in September, before the Knesset returns for its winter session on October 13.

“MK Rotem as usual is taking unilateral steps that are intended to annoy both the coalition and the opposition,” a Labor spokesman said.

Labor faction chairman Isaac Herzog intends to complain about the summer meetings to coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) when Herzog returns from a trip to South Africa. He intends to push for Levin to head a committee that would coordinate between the coalition and opposition on electoral reform.

Rotem’s associates said there was no commitment to not discuss the reforms during the recess and that opposition MKs should be happy that time will be given for their voice to be heard.

Levin has said that an agreement reached with opposition MKs in which the coalition promised not to vote on the electoral reform legislation in its final readings before mid- November did not need to be honored because the opposition violated its part of the deal.

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The timing of the vote is considered critical because the legal fate of the legislation’s main benefactor, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, is expected to be announced in October.

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