Netanyahu aide: No intention to appoint deputy

Anti-corruption watchdog criticizes move, although legal adviser says "language of the law does not require deputy PM."

June 23, 2013 15:22
1 minute read.
BINYAMIN NETANYAHU strides the corridors of the Knesset this week.

Netanyahu leaving Knesset 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has no intention to appoint a permanent deputy, Prime Minister’s Office legal adviser Shlomit Barnea Farrago wrote on Sunday.

In response to a petition by the Movement for Quality Government, Farrago wrote that “appointing a permanent deputy does not create certainty or stability in leadership,” and pointed out that the deputy’s job would be to coordinate and lead cabinet meetings while the prime minister is abroad and take on the prime minister’s duties should he become incapacitated.

Farrago’s response came a month after the Movement for Quality Government demanded that Netanyahu appoint a deputy, questioning his motives for not doing so.

“The language and spirit of the law do not require appointing a deputy,” Farrago added. “In fact, the law includes instructions of what to do if the prime minister does not choose a deputy, showing that he is not required or expected to do so.”

The Movement for Quality Government expressed disappointment with Farrago’s response.

Dafna Kiro-Cohen, head of the movement’s legal department, said “the prime minister is not another chairman of a board, and conducting government meetings or taking his place in case he is incapacitated are not trivial matters.”

Kiro-Cohen added that Farrago’s response does not give a good reason for not appointing a deputy, and that just because it is not required does not mean it is not the right thing to do.

Earlier this month, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz was caught on camera complaining that he was not made acting prime minister while Netanyahu was abroad.

“You always used to appoint Likudniks,” he lamented after Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich of Yisrael Beytenu was given the job.

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