Likud to promote bill for direct prime-ministerial election
MK Shlomo Kari says he received 'a green light' from Netanyahu to finalize the legislation ahead of a possible third election in 12 months; move comes a day after the ruling party announced it is to hold leadership primaries within the next 6 weeks
MK Shlomo Kari said he’d received a “green light” from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to promote legislation that would see Israelis chooses between the heads of the two most popular political parties in Israel, which currently appears to be the ruling Likud and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party.
President Reuven Rivlin last week handed the mandate to establish a government to the Knesset after both Netanyahu and Gantz failed to form a coalition. The move effectively started a 21-day period where 61 MKs could recommend any member to begin forming a government before the next elections are called.
"The idea is that if we fail to realize the will of the voter, we’ll get back to the voter in order to ask which narrow government it prefers,” said Kari.
According to Kari’s proposal the initial round of elections would be held in the same format as before, with voters choosing between several political parties in the running.
However, if after the initial round, no clear winner capable of forming a coalition has emerged, a second round of elections would take place - directly between the heads of the two most dominant factions.
The winner of the second round would receive an additional 10 percent of the vote, which translates roughly into 12 additional MKs, which would allow for a coalition to be formed and avoid a political crisis.
The legislation, originally drafted by Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri, calls for a change in the Basic Law (the constitutional laws of the State of Israel) with a majority of at least 61 MKs.
The move comes a day after the Likud Central Committee announced the party will hold a leadership contest within the next six weeks.
Netanyahu appears to have agreed to hold primaries after Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar made an official request on Sunday, demanding a leadership race after the prime minister was indicted on three corruption charges last week.