Bill would give MKs power to force PM's reclusion

Sponsored by MKs Orlev, Beilin, bill would enable simple majority of Knesset members to declare temporary reclusion for PM.

beilin 224.88  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
beilin 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The Knesset House Committee voted Monday to give a waiting-period exemption to a law that seeks to enable MKs to force a prime minister into reclusion, meaning that the sensitive bill will be brought to the Knesset floor for its preliminary reading during Wednesday's plenum session. The bill, sponsored by NU-NRP chairman Zevulun Orlev and MK Yossi Beilin (Meretz), would enable a simple majority of Knesset members to declare a temporary reclusion for the prime minister. According to the law, the acting prime minister would take over the prime minister's position for the next 150 days, after which the prime minister could - pending another vote in the Knesset - resume his position. "There should be an intermediate stage between a situation in which the Knesset brings down the prime minister and the government together, and one in which it does not do anything at all," Orlev and Beilin said in a statement Monday. "In this bill, the Knesset would be able, by a majority of 61, to determine a period of temporary reclusion if they determine that he cannot manage state affairs or if he has lost moral authority or national faith." Under the current law, only the prime minister or the attorney-general can determine that the prime minister should be reclused, and that period of reclusion under current conditions is only applicable for 100 days. The bill's drafters explained that the extended period included in their proposal would increase the prime minister's opportunity to solve personal problems at hand and seek permission to return. The law also allows for a situation in which the prime minister wishes to end the reclusion period prematurely and return to governing. In that case, the request would be submitted to MKs, who may release the prime minister from reclusion if 61 MKs approve. If, however, by the end of the 150 days, the prime minister cannot enlist a majority of MKs to support his return to office, he will be considered in permanent reclusion.