Yesh Atid electoral reform bill advances

Bill calls to cap amount of ministers at 18, raise number of MKs required to pass no-confidence motion from 61 to 65.

June 30, 2013 20:09
1 minute read.
Israeli government at the Knesset, April 22, 2013.

Cabinet sitting down Knesset 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved an electoral reform bill proposed by MK Ronen Hoffman on Sunday, clearing the way for it to become law before the Knesset begins its extended summer recess at the end of the month.

Hoffman’s bill calls for limiting the number of ministers to 18, who can each hold just one portfolio, and capping the number of deputy ministers at four. The bill would raise the minimum number of MKs required to pass a no-confidence motion from 61 to 65.

“Today we took an important step on the way to keeping our promise to the voters to change the electoral system,” said Hoffman, an MK with Yesh Atid. “I worked on my bill with academics, researchers, and experts. It represents the proper balance between the principles of governmental stability and strengthening democracy.”

The bill’s next step will take place Wednesday, when it will come to a vote in a preliminary reading in the Knesset plenum. It will then be combined with a bill proposed by Knesset Law Committee chairman David Rotem (Yisrael Beytenu) that already passed in its preliminary reading on May 8 before coming to final votes by the end of the month.

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman has promised to pass an electoral reform bill before the Knesset’s recess begins on July 31.

To that end, he agreed to tone down a controversial clause in Rotem’s bill that would have made submitting motions of no-confidence in the government nearly impossible.

Liberman proposed that each opposition faction would be allowed to file one no-confidence motion a month and that they would all be discussed the same day in the presence of the prime minister.

He said such a change, which would take effect with the next Knesset, would return value to no-confidence motions while enabling the Knesset and the government to focus on more serious work.

Hoffman and Rotem will meet after Wednesday to work out a compromise on no-confidence votes that will enable the combined electoral reform legislation to pass into law.

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