(photo credit: REUTERS)
It is unacceptable for the Knesset to go on vacation immediately after it is sworn in, soon-to-be interim Knesset Speaker Amir Peretz said.
When the 20th Knesset is sworn in on March 31, Peretz will become Knesset Speaker until the next coalition is formed, because he is the MK who has served the most consecutive years. Peretz has been a lawmaker since 1988, when the 12th Knesset was sworn in – with a break from December 2012 to February 2013 – when he left Labor for Hatnua and resigned from the Knesset.
MK Moshe Gafni also became an MK in 1988, but he took two breaks from the legislature.
Although Peretz is only likely to hold the Knesset Speaker position for several weeks, he already announced his plan to change its usual schedule, in which it goes on a month-long recess ahead of Passover and continues until the week after Yom Ha’atzma’ut.
However, Peretz decided that the Knesset must have a full agenda, even during the weeks full of holidays and events.
“I find it unacceptable that the Knesset, which has not been active for three months already, will immediately go to recess, and Israeli citizens certainly want to see their representatives working and serving them through full parliamentary activity,” Peretz said at a Zionist Union faction meeting last Wednesday.
According to Peretz, having an active Knesset, despite the government not yet being formed, reinforces the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.
“This is one of the important principles on which the existence of democracy is based,” he added.