Cabinet expected to approve term limits for prime minister bill today

Alongside Sa'ar, Yesh Atid leader and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has also been an ardent advocate of imposing term limits on prime ministers. 

NEW HOPE leader Gideon Sa'ar, August 2, 2021 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
NEW HOPE leader Gideon Sa'ar, August 2, 2021
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The cabinet is expected to approve and forward a bill to the Knesset on Sunday that would set a term limit for prime ministers.

The bill was a central plank for Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar during the last election campaign, a proposal he is now advancing in the government due to what he says is his concern with the corrupting nature of the premiership if held by one person for too long.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett consented to the bill since it will not be retroactive and would not be seen as a “personal law” designed to prevent opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu from heading a government again, despite him already having served multiple terms as prime minister.

Yesh Atid leader and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has also been an ardent advocate of imposing term limits for the post of prime minister.

“By their third term in office, prime ministers deal with survival instead of helping citizens,” Sa’ar told Channel 13 last week. “The bill has no connection to Netanyahu.”

GIDEON SA'AR arrives at the Knesset ahead of the vote and swearing in of the 36th government, June 13, 2021. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)GIDEON SA'AR arrives at the Knesset ahead of the vote and swearing in of the 36th government, June 13, 2021. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Another Sa’ar-sponsored bill, which would prevent anyone facing indictment for a serious crime – including Netanyahu – from forming a government, has not obtained Bennett’s backing. It is also opposed by key coalition members: Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina), Deputy Minister Abir Kara (Yamina) and Blue and White MK Michael Biton.

“The second bill requires dialogue, especially with the prime minister,” Sa’ar said. “There is no deadline yet. I will do my best to reach agreements. When we do, we can advance the bill.”

Separately on Saturday night, Daphna Liel of Channel 12 News reported that following the successful passage of the budget two weeks ago, senior advisers to Bennett and Lapid will meet this week to map out the internal challenges faced by the government and how they can be overcome.