Knesset speaker takes action against no-show ministers

Edelstein delays formation of special committee for Kahlon's economic reforms.

Yuli Edelstein (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Yuli Edelstein
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein took steps on Wednesday to ensure cabinet ministers show more respect to the legislative branch.
“The current situation certainly will not continue,” Edelstein announced, following complaints from MKs that ministers do not respond to their motions to the agenda in the plenum.
Edelstein said he will no longer allow ministers to fill in for one another in the plenum; only the minister relevant to the motion will be allowed to respond.
If the relevant minister or deputy minister is not present, a forum of the Knesset speaker and his deputies will decide what to do with the motion, meaning whether or not it will move to a committee.
The new rule does not apply to the Communications Ministry, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also communications minister, and the prime minister is not required to answer motions to the agenda or parliamentary questions.
Edelstein also took a stand against forming a special committee on economic reforms, as stated in Kulanu and the Likud’s coalition agreement, at this time.
MK Eli Cohen (Kulanu) was supposed to be chairman of the panel, which would allow Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s flagship reforms on the financial market and housing to pass into law more quickly and easily.
The speaker’s concern is that a general committee on economic reform will take too much authority from the Knesset Finance Committee and Economics Committee, make it unclear who would take care of which legislation and cause arguments between committee chairmen.
As such, Edelstein plans to only agree to the formation of a special committee once the government proposes specific bills on the relevant issues.