Electoral threshold to be set at 3.25 percent

According to deal reached between coalition factions, entering the next Knesset will require some 120,000 votes.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
February 3, 2014 21:34
1 minute read.
The Knesset.

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

 
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Entering the next Knesset will require some 120,000 votes, according to a compromise in the parliament’s Law and Constitution Committee reached between the factions in the coalition Monday.

The electoral threshold would rise from two to 3.25 percent, according to a deal reached between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, and accepted by Finance Minister Yair Lapid. The smallest faction is expected to rise from two seats to five.

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Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni initially objected to the deal and insisted that the threshold enable factions of four seats. So rather than set a new percentage as the minimum, she said the new bill should instead set a minimum number of MKs. Another possible option was that the threshold will be set at 3.33%.

But Hatnua backed off from that idea Monday. The party also decided not to expand vote sharing agreements to enable smaller parties that do not pass the threshold to enter the Knesset.

Rather than those votes being thrown away, they would have been combined with votes for larger parties beyond what is needed for an additional mandate.

The Law Committee is continuing its proceedings in an effort to prepare the legislation to pass into law before the Knesset’s spring recess begins on March 19.

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