מורן אזולאי
Moran Azulay
Photo: Idan Arbeli
Likud whip Miki Zohar in the Ynet studio

Petulant Likud is keeping Knesset from its duties

Analysis: Despite being ousted as head of crucial Arrangements Committee, Likud whip Miki Zohar is refusing to convene the panel to advance legislation or populate vital parliamentary committees such as defense and finance

Moran Azulay |
Published: 04.20.21 , 15:53
The Knesset remained stalled Tuesday despite voting to unseat Likud whip Miki Zohar as head of the crucial Arrangements Committee a day earlier.
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  • An irate Zohar adjourned the committee immediately after the vote and is refusing to allow it to set the legislative agenda or select members of other key parliamentary committees.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    מיקי זוהר
    מיקי זוהר
    Likud whip Miki Zohar in the Ynet studio
    (Photo: Hadar Yoavian)
    Meanwhile, Netanyahu's parliamentary bloc continues to fight with the parties opposed to the prime minister over the number of deputy Knesset speakers it can have.
    The prime minister's bloc is demanding two deputy speakers, which together with current speaker Yariv Levin would create a majority that could stymie legislation deemed detrimental to Likud or to Netanyahu.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    יריב לוין
    יריב לוין
    Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin presides over the vote that ended Likud's hold over the Knesset committees
    (Photo: Knesset Channel)
    Zohar told Ynet on Tuesday that the Likud leader has two weeks left to put together a viable coalition and until that time, he, as the acting head of the Arrangements Committee, would prevent it from meeting at all.
    "I will not concede," Zohar said. "I will fight them [the opposition] at every turn.
    Zohar's defiance means critical parliamentary work cannot get underway - including of the formation of Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, a key tool in handling the threats posed by Iran, and the Finance Committee, which must begin dealing with the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic.
    The anti-Netanyahu bloc says it is waiting for the prime minister to fail in his bid to form a coalition and for President Reuven Rivlin to then tap the head of its own camp, the chair of the centrist Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    מליאת הכנסת
    מליאת הכנסת
    Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid with former Netanyahu ally and current New Hope MK Zeev Elkin in the Knesset on Monday
    (Photo: The Knesset)
    Before that happens, Rivlin will have to decide whether to grant Netanyahu an extension of two weeks.
    The president could also decide not to task Lapid and leave the decision on who should try to form a government to the Knesset.
    In the meantime, however, the Knesset is at an impasse in a time of crisis.
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