MK Yariv Levin to become Israel's temporary Knesset speaker Monday

Assuming Yariv Levin is chosen, his name will be put forward in a vote in the plenum. Once he is chosen he will take over the mantle from the interim speaker, Yesh Atid MK Mickey Levy.

Likud Party member Yariv Levin attends preparations for the new Knesset on April 5.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Likud Party member Yariv Levin attends preparations for the new Knesset on April 5.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Likud MK Yariv Levin will become the temporary Knesset speaker on Monday, the Likud said Sunday.

The party held a virtual vote and unanimously agreed to choose Levin, who will take over the mantle from Yesh Atid MK Mickey Levy.

Levin, who is leading the Likud’s coalition negotiations team, will likely be Likud chairman and prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s choice in the party’s faction meeting scheduled for 2 p.m., prior to the Knesset’s 4 p.m. plenum session.

Assuming Levin is chosen, his name will be put forward in a vote in the plenum.

Levin is also a candidate for justice minister and will resign as speaker if he becomes a minister. It is not clear who will replace him, but the appointment enables the Likud to control the pace of legislation without Netanyahu having to decide on a permanent speaker, a source from the Likud said.

 Likud MK Yariv Levin seen after coalition talks at a hotel in Jerusalem on November 21, 2022.  (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Likud MK Yariv Levin seen after coalition talks at a hotel in Jerusalem on November 21, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The law states that there needs to be a supermajority of 90 votes to replace the speaker once they are chosen. If Levin does not become a minister, he will remain as permanent speaker, the source said.

The Knesset speaker controls the plenum’s agenda. If chosen, Levin will likely immediately begin the process to fast-track legislation that the Likud’s soon-to-be coalition partners are demanding as preconditions to forming a government. These include an amendment to the Basic Law: The Government, which will enable Shas chairman MK Arye Deri to serve as a minister despite his suspended jail sentence following a January plea bargain to tax offenses; and an amendment of the Police Law so that incoming national security minister and Otzma Yehudit chairman Itamar Ben-Gvir receives broader control over the police.

In recent weeks, a number of other Likud MKs expressed their interest in becoming permanent speaker, including MKs Danny Danon and David Amsalem. Other candidates included MKs Amir Ohana and Ofir Akunis.

Danon reportedly demanded that Monday’s vote within the Likud faction meeting be held anonymously, which he claims would raise his chances of receiving the position.