MKs to Try to Disperse Knesset on Thursday again

On Wednesday night, efforts of lawmakers for dispersing the Knesset and calling the fifth elections in Israel did not bear fruit because of a slew of political machinations and schemes. MKs went home in the evening, only to dash back for a vote and then had to leave again when the voting was deferred to Thursday.

Voting to take place on Thursday

The preliminary legislation for dispersing the Knesset had been approved by the MKs last week, but the process of actually doing it has become rather chaotic. The final readings of the bill and the vote is now scheduled for 9 a.m. on Thursday morning.

The process was primarily delayed because of political haggling over which legislation needs to be approved before the dissolution of the Knesset. Therefore, throughout Wednesday, the process of preparing the dissolution bill in House Committee had been delayed.

The Labor and Yisrael Beytenu parties of the coalition were adamant that the Metro Law, which is a bill aimed at expediting the development of Israel’s subway system be passed first, before the Knesset is finally dissolved.

The in-fighting had extended to late evening and the opposition also made a demand in return. It said that the status of MK Amichai Chikli be reversed from defector. Chikli had belonged to the Yamina part of the outgoing premier Naftali Bennett and had been elected as a member of the Knesset.

However, the lawmaker had been ousted from the party when he opposed the coalition and this means that he will not be able to run in the next election in any existing faction of the Knesset.

The Chikli matter

If Chikli’s status is reversed, he would be able to follow in the footsteps of fellow rebels Nir Orbach and Idit Silman, who are also former Yamina MKs. They can form a separate faction for joining the Likud party of the leader of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu. They would also be able to take the election financing that has been allocated to them. It remains unclear if this would be legally permitted.

The Labor and Yisrael Beytenu party were willing to approve this deal, but there was strong opposition from the New Hope party of Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar and the Yamina party. Ultimately, this resulted in efforts of passing the Knesset dispersal bill breaking down on Wednesday night.

Yamina party criticized Chikli for putting his own political career ahead of the metro system that would help millions of Israelis. They said that Israelis facing unnecessary traffic jams would know that Amichai Chikli is responsible for it.

The consequences

Therefore, Yisrael Beytenu stated that they would not withdraw their objections, which means that the Knesset dissolution process could be dragged on Thursday as well. If the Knesset is not dissolved on Thursday, it would mean that the law applying to Israelis living in the West Bank would expire and this would have disastrous legal consequences.

If the Knesset is dissolved, the law would be renewed automatically for six months when an interim government will take control.

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