Elections soon? A bill to dissolve the Knesset to be voted on next week

If a new Likud bill passes an election would be held in Israel on October 25.

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz attend a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on May 23, 2022. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz attend a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on May 23, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The Likud intends to bring a bill to dissolve the Knesset and initiate an election next Wednesday.

If Yamina rebel Nir Orbach votes for the bill, there would be a majority, but Orbach does not want to crown Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Knesset dissolution bill

According to the coalition agreement, Lapid would automatically become prime minister of a caretaker government during an election and until a new government would be formed, if the current government was brought down by two MKs from Bennett’s camp: Orbach and former coalition chairwoman Idit Silman.

If the bill passes, an election would be held on the first Tuesday after 90 days that does not fall on a holiday or a holiday eve, October 25.

Bennett’s governing coalition will be defeated in every vote that will take place in the Knesset on Wednesday, due to rebellious MKs from four different parties.

 MKs Nir Orbach and Idit Silman talk during a vote on the ''Flag Bill'' at the Knesset on June 1, 2022.  (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) MKs Nir Orbach and Idit Silman talk during a vote on the ''Flag Bill'' at the Knesset on June 1, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Wednesday is the day that the Knesset votes on bills presented by the opposition. The coalition is expected to boycott all the votes in an effort to minimize the humiliation from the losses, as it did in the only vote in the Knesset plenum on Monday. No bills were brought to a vote on Tuesday.

Quelling rebellions 

No progress was made in quelling the rebellions by MKs Nir Orbach (Yamina), Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi (Meretz), Mazen Ghanaim (Ra’am- United Arab List) and Michael Biton (Blue and White).

One bill that could be particularly problematic is the so-called anti-Bibi bill, which would prevent an MK under indictment from forming a government. The bill is supported by all of the MKs in the coalition, except for Yamina, as well as the Joint List in the opposition.

MK Eli Avidar said passing the bill into law quickly was the best way to keep the coalition together. He said opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu would not hurry to initiate an election if the bill passed.

Avidar also suggested immediately firing Orbach from his powerful role as head of the Knesset House Committee.

Yamina officials who spoke to Orbach on Tuesday said they still hoped he would return to the coalition if the problems in Ra’am and Meretz were resolved.

“Nir is not a Chikli, and portraying him as such is a misrepresentation,” said a Yamina official, referring to the first rebel against Bennett, MK Amichai Chikli.

Yamina officials said the final straw for Orbach was Bennett’s request for him to vote for consensus bills in the Knesset and set aside his protest.

“He was angry that they were counting on him for the bills,” a Yamina official said. “He left because they weren’t taking him seriously enough that they asked him to vote. The very notion annoyed him.”

"[Orbach] left because they weren’t taking him seriously enough that they asked him to vote. The very notion annoyed him.”

Yamina official

There are 22 coalition bills set for their final readings. Many of them are consensus bills that the opposition would support under normal circumstances.

Orbach is expected to remain at his Petah Tikva home on Wednesday and not participate in any Knesset votes. The only rebel expected to vote against the coalition in the Knesset on Wednesday is Rinawie Zoabi.