Netanyahu unveils plan for two-party political system

Hotovely appeals Likud primary results.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 5, 2015 18:45
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a plan Monday that would revolutionize the Israeli multi-party political system and change it to one with two main parties like in the United States.

Speaking at a Likud event at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds under the banner “Vote Likud to change the system,” Netanyahu complained that the current system made it too hard to govern.

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He said there have been 33 governments in 66 years due to the problems with it.

“With so many parties, the prime minister functions as a kindergarten teacher in an endless game of musical chairs,” he complained. “We will soon have to go to elections again if we don’t fix the problem of too many small parties.”

According to Netanyahu’s plan, starting with the election after the upcoming one, the leader of the largest party will automatically form the government.

It will not be possible to topple the administration except in extreme measures, so governments will almost always last four years.

“This will lead to there being two large parties: the Likud and whatever Labor wants to call itself in each election,” he said.

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“Then the Likud won’t be subject to political extortion.”

When asked in closed conversations why he only decided to change the system now and not years ago, he said conditions were never ripe before, but now they would be with two larger parties.

He said he was happy about the results of a TNS Teleseker poll on Channel 1 that predicted 25 seats for the Likud and 24 for Labor, far ahead of other parties.

Netanyahu mocked Labor leader Isaac Herzog and Hatnua head Tzipi Livni, asking the crowd whether they can maintain the security of Israel.

“Can they stand up to Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran?” he asked. “They won’t be able to handle the pressure even for a moment. They want to surrender and withdraw. That has been the way of the Left for 20 years.”

Prior to the speech, the top 30 Likud candidates were announced. Amir Ohana, who is 32nd on the list, said the Likud was not being ambitious enough.

MK Tzipi Hotovely ascended the stage despite being placed in the 26th slot, which many consider unrealistic. She intends to appeal the results of the race.

More incidents of suspected voter fraud were revealed Monday. One ballot box disappeared for a few days, others were counted twice, and in one polling station, the vote counter left due to threats.

In a letter to the Likud’s elections committee, party activist Michael Fuah said the results in dozens of polling stations were mathematically impossible. Thousands of votes across the country had been lost, he said.

The final Likud list will only be announced after the appeals are decided in internal party courts.

Former minister Avi Dichter, who narrowly defeated Hotovely for a higher slot, said the race was over and that it was time to focus on the March 17 general election.

Herzog mocked the Likud’s problems, saying “Citizens shouldn’t count on a party that can’t count.”

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