MKs, ministers advance bill to have state fund reelection campaigns

“Campaigns can cost thousands and even hundreds of thousands of shekels, which prevents candidates who are not wealthy from running.”

By
July 16, 2017 20:34
1 minute read.
A general view shows the plenum during the swearing-in ceremony of the 20th Knesset, the new Israeli

A general view shows the plenum during the swearing-in ceremony of the 20th Knesset, the new Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem March 31, 2015.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Ministers and Knesset members who run for reelection in parties that hold primaries would receive funding from the state treasury for their campaigns, under a bill that was advanced Sunday in the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.

The bill, which was initiated by Likud MK David Amsalem, will be brought to a vote in its preliminary reading in the Knesset on Wednesday.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Amsalem said the bill was necessary in order to eliminate fund-raising from donors with special interests and to prevent wealthy candidates from having an advantage.

“The primary system has many expenses, so it gives an unfair advantage to those who have means,” Amsalem said.

“Campaigns can cost thousands and even hundreds of thousands of shekels, which prevents candidates who are not wealthy from running.”

Amsalem’s bill would make it illegal for incumbent elected officials to accept contributions.

Instead, 80%of the amount permitted to be spent by incumbent MKs and ministers in primaries would be funded by the state.



All candidates, including those who are not incumbents, would be given loans from the Treasury that would become grants if they are elected.

The Israel Democracy Institute criticized Amsalem’s proposal, saying although his intentions were good, the bill would discriminate against candidates who are not incumbents. Professor Gideon Rahat, Dr. Ofer Kenig and Dr. Guy Lurie of IDI sent a letter to the ministers on the committee, urging them to fix the legislation.

“The proposal would result in there being two kinds of candidates with unequal conditions: new candidates and incumbents,” they wrote. “There should be an alternative proposal that would encourage the initiation of a system of equal funding for all candidates, with limits to avoid a huge waste of taxpayer money.”

Related Content

Rami Feinstein
August 18, 2018
Music from the heart

By ARIEL DOMINIQUE HENDELMAN