By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
The Kadima Party asked the High Court of Justice on Wednesday to cancel the bill that passed in the Knesset last week that enables the government to pass a two-year budget.In the petition, which was filed by former finance minister Ronnie Bar-On, Kadima asked the Court to intervene immediately, before the budget was completed and brought to a vote in the Knesset. The petition accuses the government of trying to take powers away from the Knesset, including its ability to topple a government that fails to pass a budget on time. It notes that the bills enabling a two-year budget apply only to the current government."The petition is intended to save Israeli democracy from the government of Israel,” Bar-On said. “The government is trying to take political shortcuts.”The High Court criticized past governments for hiding changes to the budget in the accompanying Arrangements bill, which is often massive and distributed immediately before a vote, preventing MKs from reading it. The petition said that a two-year budget is even more problematic.Likud faction chairman Ze'ev Elkin said in response that the two-year budget was praised by the head of the International Monetary Fund, who credited it with revitalizing Israel's economy and said he would recommend it to other countries."Bar-On's petition is merely yet another embarrassing attempt by the opposition to get headlines,” Elkin said.
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