The Knesset passed two bills in preliminary readings on Wednesday that if passed into law would institute a cooling-off period for journalists before they can get elected.
The bills were inspired by the late Shinui leader Yosef (Tommy) Lapid's son, Yair Lapid, who anchors Channel 2's top-rated Friday night newsmagazine Ulpan Shishi and writes a featured column in the weekend editions of the nation's highest circulation newspaper, Yediot Aharonot
Lapid hinted that he was en route to politics three weeks ago when he appeared to outline his platform in a lecture in Herzliya. After a public outcry, he told his superiors that he currently did not intend to enter politics but if he changed his mind, he would voluntarily institute a six-month cooling-off period.
Kadima MK Ronit Tirosh's bill that would institute a six-month cooling-off period passed by a vote of 33 to 11. Likud MK Carmel Shama's bill, in which the cooling-off period is a year, passed 31-12.
The bills will now go to the Knesset Law Committee to be prepared for final readings. One change that is expected to be made is for the cooling-off period to begin immediately when an early election is called for less than six months away.