Coalition to face Chikli test next week

The Knesset House Committee will convene to consider formally declaring Yamina's MK Chikli a rebel who has left the party without following proper procedure.

New Knesset member Amichai Chikli  seen at the Knesset , ahead of the opening Knesset session of the new government, on April 05, 2021. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
New Knesset member Amichai Chikli seen at the Knesset , ahead of the opening Knesset session of the new government, on April 05, 2021.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's governing coalition will face a key test on Monday morning when the Knesset House Committee will convene to consider formally declaring a renegade Yamina MK a hostile rebel who has left the party without following proper procedure.

If the committee passes the measure at Yamina leader Bennett’s request, Amichai Chikli would have to quit the Knesset immediately or face being banned from running with an existing party in the next election.

The move is intended to deter former coalition chairwoman Idit Silman and other potential rebels from voting against the coalition.

Party leaders will meet on Sunday to coordinate a strategy for passing the proposal.

House Committee head Nir Orbach, who himself mulled leaving Yamina, has said he would vote in favor. But Ra’am (United Arab List) MK Waleed Taha will boycott the vote.

 Those were the days: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and MK Idit Silman in the Knesset in November.  (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Those were the days: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and MK Idit Silman in the Knesset in November. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The opposition has been boycotting all votes in committees, which would guarantee the vote’s passage.

Yamina said Chikli has consistently voted against the party’s views, including in hundreds of votes on the state budget.

However, Chikli has said Bennett and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked have gone against the party’s views, not him. He tried unsuccessfully to compel Bennett and Shaked to attend the meeting and be grilled by opposition MKs.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Silman on Thursday, in a meeting that was set before she defected from the coalition.

Gantz asked Silman to continue voting with the coalition on security issues. He updated Bennett on the meeting. 

After coordinating with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu before the meeting, Silman asked Gantz to help unseat Bennett, KAN reported. Gantz said no, according to the report.