Newly-elected State Comptroller Matanyahu Engelman.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
In a political victory for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Matanyahu Englman will be Joseph Shapira’s successor as state comptroller after he defeated Giora Rom in a secret ballot vote in the Knesset.
Englman, who was the candidate of the current coalition, received 67 votes and the opposition candidate, Rom, 48. There were five blank ballots.
Had Rom defeated Netanyahu’s candidate, it would have been humiliating for the prime minister and shown that MKs in the coalition took revenge against him. Netanyahu personally called MKs to ensure they were voting for Englman and convened the Likud faction to ensure that all the MKs were in line.
In an improptu interview with Channel 12, Netanyahu said he was glad that Englman does not believe in immediate oversight, unlike past comptrollers, and instead writes reports after incidents are complete.
“That is the way it works all over the world,” Netanyahu said. “Do Amazon and Microsoft work that way [with immediate oversight]?”
Netanyahu called Englman to congratulate him.
“People were impressed by your honesty and professionalism,” Netanyahu told him. “You will do terrific work, and I am sure you will work on behalf of the state and its people without other considerations.”
President Reuven Rivlin congratulated Englman on Monday and offered him “heartfelt congratulations.”
Calling the institution of the comptroller “one of the most important and central institutions of Israeli democracy,” he added, “its strength is in its independence.”
After Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman promised to vote for Englman, his party’s MKs made a point of photographing their ballots for him so no one would be able to say that Liberman did not keep his word.
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