Did Likud break the law by offering Silman a spot?

Silman was reportedly offered the 10th spot on the Likud Party's list and a ministerial position in return for her leaving the coalition.

 Idit Silman, head of the Health Committee leads a Committee meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, on November 16, 2021. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Idit Silman, head of the Health Committee leads a Committee meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, on November 16, 2021.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel asked the State Comptroller and the Central Elections Committee to investigate whether the Likud Party broke the law on Wednesday by offering MK Idit Silman a spot on the party list to get her to bolt the coalition.

According to section 57a of the Knesset Elections Law, "No agreement will be made and no subsequent commitment will be made for a spot on the list of Knesset candidates for a particular Knesset member or group of people, except after the 90th day before Election Day."

According to Israeli media, Silman was offered the 10th spot on the Likud Party's list and a ministerial position in return for her leaving the coalition.

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel stressed that section 57a of the law was amended in 1991 after an incident known as the "stinking maneuver," when Shimon Peres toppled the government of then prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. Amid the political turmoil following the collapse of the government, different parties attempted to drag politicians away from other parties with offers of spots in their parties and ministerial positions.

Another law passed after the incident states that an MK who leaves their party and doesn't also resign from the Knesset is forbidden from running with any of the parties currently in Knesset in the next elections.

Netanyahu speaks at a coalition faction meeting (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Netanyahu speaks at a coalition faction meeting (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Additionally, an MK who leaves their party is forbidden from being appointed as a minister or deputy minister until a new Knesset enters office.

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel stressed that if Silman was offered a spot in a list or ministerial position, it is a "blatant violation of the law" and requires that the Central Elections Committee rule on the matter.

According to the Elections Law, if one of the MKs did break the law and promise Silman a spot or position, they could face six months in prison or a fine of NIS 10 million.