Analysis: Lieberman and the powers of the PM

According to Lieberman's bill, the PM (the title of the head of government is to remain the same,) rather than the government, is the executive authority of the state.

By DAN IZENBERG
October 16, 2006 01:16
2 minute read.
lieberman 298.88

lieberman 298.88. (photo credit: )

 
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According to Avigdor Lieberman's bill, the prime minister (the title of the head of government is to remain the same,) rather than the government, is the executive authority of the state. Unlike the current situation, in which the party leader with the most parliamentary support is asked by the president of the state to form a government, the prime minister will be chosen by the people in direct elections.

  • Lieberman addition to coalition in doubt In normal circumstances, neither the prime minister nor the government will be dependent upon the Knesset. Unlike today, and even unlike the period of direct elections of the prime minister between 1992 and 2001, the prime minister will appoint his own ministers without requiring parliamentary approval. The ministers will not be Knesset members. Although the system is meant to strengthen the durability of the executive branch, the government will still need a Knesset majority to pass the budget. If it fails to do so by the end of the outgoing fiscal year, the government and parliament will have to resign. The Knesset also has the power to dismiss the prime minister. However, it would require a majority of 80 MKs to do so. Furthermore, if the prime minister is fired, his deputy would continue to govern until the end of the term. A majority of 70 MKs may fire a minister, if the motion is recommended by the Knesset House Committee. If he sees that the Knesset refuses to cooperate with him, the prime minister may, with the president's approval, disperse the Knesset. If he does so, new elections would be held for both the premiership and the Knesset. The prime minister has full powers over the cabinet. He may appoint ministers, switch portfolios among them without seeking permission from the Knesset, and transfer powers not assigned by law from one minister to another. According to the very brief words of explanation attached to Lieberman's bill, "the aim is to establish a presidential regime in Israel in which there is full separation of powers between the executive and the legislature. The government will serve as an independent executive authority whose members will not serve as MKs. The Knesset will devote its work to legislation and parliamentary criticism of the government. Thus, there will be a system of checks and balances worthy of a properly run country. The Knesset will have to power to fire a prime minister but not the government. In this way, governmental stability will be guaranteed for four years."

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