Mini-electoral reforms making progress

Kadima sees Rivlin's intervention as a "declaration of war."

May 12, 2009 23:39
2 minute read.
Mini-electoral reforms making progress

Rivlin 248.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])


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


Three months after the close race between Likud and Kadima sparked a wave of calls for electoral reform, small changes in the political system began advancing this week in the cabinet and the Knesset. The cabinet on Sunday approved the so-called "mini-Norwegian law," which will allow one minister from each party in the coalition to resign from the legislature in favor of the next name on their party's Knesset candidates list and then return to the Knesset if they quit the cabinet. The change, which Labor ministers opposed, still must pass in the Knesset. Once that happens, two Ethiopian immigrants will become MKs: Alali Adamso of Likud and Mazor Bayana of Shas. Harvard-educated consultant Einat Wilf will join on Labor's behalf, Israel Beiteinu's new MK will be Kiryat Gat social worker Viktor Ifrahimov, and former MK Nisan Slomiansky will return to the Knesset with Habayit Hayehudi. The change is intended to give the coalition five additional active lawmakers to represent their parties in the Knesset after the appointment of 40 ministers and deputy ministers gave the coalition a disadvantage in parliamentary work. Ministers are barred from voting in Knesset committees because it would be a conflict of interest, but deputy ministers were permitted until recently. Legal authorities issued a ruling a year ago urging that deputies be barred from serving on committees that deal with matters pertaining to their ministries, especially the Knesset Finance Committee. Then-Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik took the ruling one step further and banned all deputy ministers from serving on all committees. This did not create a problem in the last Knesset when there were only two deputy ministers, but now there are nine. The Knesset House Committee will meet on Wednesday to vote on a proposal to take a step backward and allow deputy ministers to serve on committees that do not pertain to their ministries, as the legal authorities recommended. The cabinet will vote in upcoming weeks on proposals to raise the number of MKs needed to pass a bill dispersing the Knesset from 61 to 65 and to require a candidate for prime minister in a "constructive no-confidence vote" to prove that he would have the ability to build an alternative coalition. Coalition chairman Ze'ev Elkin said all the reforms would be brought to a vote in the Knesset as one package in upcoming weeks. Kadima officials said the party would do everything possible to block the reforms. They accused Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin of using his position, which is intended to be apolitical and statesmanlike, to help the coalition's survival efforts. "If Rivlin gives his hand to such moves, he will be remembered as the first Knesset speaker who made the Knesset into the cabinet's lackey," a Kadima official said. "We would see this as a declaration of war on the principle of separation of powers. Rivlin must remember that he heads the Knesset and not a branch of the Likud."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town