Israel approved Wednesday the dispersal of the Knesset in the first parliamentary reading, taking the country one step closer to snap elections.
The bill will now proceed to its third reading, which requires a majority approval of 61 votes, where the date of the elections will also be set.
As part of the vote, the Knesset also approved the bill meant to increase funding of political parties in first reading with a majority of MKs voting for the move. If the bill gets final approval, the parties running for Knesset in the upcoming elections will receive NIS 1.6 million for each MK to aid their respective campaigns.
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman decided his party will oppose the bill to disperse the Knesset in protest over delay in approval of legislation needed to okay the construction of underground railway, called the "metro bill," which lead to end of the session in the plenum.
Liberman said, “We mean to file hundreds of reservations to dispersal bill, and the absurdity of the bill on the increase on funding for parties - to make every effort to pass legislation that can combat issues of traffic, housing, jobs in Israel."
"I expect member of the coalition at least to put political deliberations aside for the benefit of the nation’s interest.”
On Tuesday, the plenum session also ended in a verbal squabble after the metro bill drafted by Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli was left out of the voting agenda, while Likud’s party funding bill advanced to first reading.
The Likud wants funding for election campaigns to be increased by an extra NIS 31.2 million, with NIS200 million of that money going to political factions.