Naftali Bennett, Yair Lapid

Bennett says will not back bill to block Netanyahu in next elections

Bennett says he believes determining who gets to run for Knesset and who doesn't should be left to voters to decide at the ballot box, but adds will not fight legislation

Moran Azulay, Alexandra Lukash |
Published: 06.22.22, 15:42
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Wednesday that he would not support a proposed bill to block Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu from running in the next elections.
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  • The bill would bar candidates facing judicial proceedings from running for office. Netanyahu is currently battling a triad of corruption charges he says are a part of a "witch hunt" against him.
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    נפתלי בנט ויאיר לפיד
    נפתלי בנט ויאיר לפיד
    Naftali Bennett, Yair Lapid
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    Bennett said he believes determining who gets to run for Knesset and who doesn't should be left to voters to decide at the ballot box.
    "I don't believe that now, on the eve of a new election, is the time to change the rules of the game," Bennett said.
    He added he would not interfere with his coalition members' decision to support the bill which his political peers have long been itching to table.
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    מליאת הכנסת
    מליאת הכנסת
    Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud members after first reading of bill to dissolve the Knesset
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
    A preliminary reading of the bill may be brought to a vote in the Knesset as early as Wednesday afternoon. Opposition lawmakers tried to stonewall the proposition due to disagreements on whether to lift sanctions barring Yamina MK Amichai Chikli from seeking reelection under an existing political framework.
    A bill to dissolve parliament that passed on Wednesday was tabled by 11 Knesset members from both sides of the aisle after Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said they could no longer govern without a Knesset majority.
    Lapid is expected to head a caretaker government as of next week unless the opposition succeeds in presenting an alternative government that could muster the support of a majority among legislators.
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    בנימין נתניהו הגיע לבית המשפט לראות את החקירה הנגדית של פילבר
    בנימין נתניהו הגיע לבית המשפט לראות את החקירה הנגדית של פילבר
    Netanyahu appears in court for the testimony of a state witness in his corruption trial
    (Photo: Reuven Castro)
    Former Bennett ally Nir Orbach, who heads the Knesset House Committee tasked with advancing the bill, said he would stall proceedings to allow Netanyahu the opportunity to present an alternative government and avoid elections.
    In response, the coalition said the bill will go to the Constitution, Law and Justice committee to bypass Orbach.
    Analysts say that on the off chance the bill does end up passing, it would most likely be struck down by the Supreme Court due to its proximity to an election. Judges may also claim this to be a form of inappropriate personal legislation which solely targets Netanyahu.
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