Struck backs down, electoral reforms set to pass in committee today

It calls for the electoral threshold to be raised from two to 3.25 percent, which would raise the Knesset’s smallest faction from two to four MKs.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 3, 2014 00:45
1 minute read.
Bayit Yehudi MK Orit Struck

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

 
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The government’s plans for electoral reforms are expected to be approved in their final reading by the Knesset Law and Constitution Committee Monday, paving the way for the legislation to pass into law next week.

More than 150 possible amendments were suggested Sunday but the bill is expected to pass as is. It calls for the electoral threshold to be raised from two to 3.25 percent, which would raise the Knesset’s smallest faction from two to four MKs.

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The Law Committee has already decided to limit the number of ministers to 19 and deputy ministers to four. Ministers will only be in charge of one ministry. Instead of weekly motions of no-confidence in the government, they will be monthly and the prime minister will have to be present.

Bayit Yehudi MK Orit Struck threatened to vote against the proposal Sunday, due to disagreements with Yesh Atid on the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) conscription bill, but she later backed down. Struck personally opposes raising the threshold because it would force her Tekuma party to remain part of Bayit Yehudi.

Coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) held a conference call with the heads of all the factions in the Knesset last week in which he reminded them that are all required to support the electoral reforms.

The legislation changes Basic Laws, so 61 of the 120 MKs must vote for the bill in the final reading in the Knesset plenum.

The electoral reform, which is sponsored by MKs Ronen Hoffman (Yesh Atid) and David Rotem (Yisrael Beytenu) is one of three bills Levin intends to pass into law before the Knesset begins its extended spring recess on March 19.



Meanwhile, the ministerial committee on legislation passed a proposal Sunday that would raise the electoral threshold for municipal councils from 0.75% to 1.5%.

The legislation, sponsored by MK Rina Frenkel (Yesh Atid), could make one-man factions in local councils no longer possible.

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