Labor MKs Vote on Who Will Chair Economic Affairs Committee First

Party MKs Avishay Braverman and Eitan Cabel will each serve a two-year terms as head of the committee; the vote will determine who goes first.

Labor Party Knesset members will vote today on the rotation order for the chairmanship of the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee. Party MKs Avishay Braverman and Eitan Cabel will each serve a two-year terms as head of the committee; the vote will determine who goes first. Barring early elections or a coalition shakeup, the man who does not get his Knesset colleague’s nod today will take the helm in two years.

The secret ballot will be held at party’s headquarters.

Braverman and Cabel met last week in a failed effort to agree on the order of the rotation, prompting the decision to hold a vote.

Traditionally the chairman of the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee is a member of the opposition. In the wake of the general election in January and the establishment earlier this month of a new government that Labor declined to join, it is the largest opposition party.

The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee handles a wide range of issues and areas including competition in the marketplace, the cost of living, housing, communications, aviation, transportation, natural gas, bank fees and the food industry.

Among the issues that are expected to come before the committee during the new Knesset term are food prices, a housing bill and the proposed Open Skies agreement with the European Union. The latter, which has been all but ratified, would give unfettered landing rights in Israel and Europe to airlines from either origin.

Once the rotation order of the chairmanship of the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee has been settled, the Labor Party will assign its allotted slots on the various Knesset committees to its MKs.

At least seven Labor MKs are vying for their party’s two slots on the Knesset Finance Committee, including Miki Rosenthal, Michal Biran, Erel Margalit and Stav Shaffir, a freshman MK who was one of the leaders of Israel’s 2011 social protest movement.

The purview of the Knesset Finance Committee includes the state budget, most of the provisions of the Economic Arrangements bill that accompanies the annual budget law and such issues as taxation, capital markets and the concentration of economic power. It will be chaired by Habayit Hayehudi’s Nissim Slomiansky.

David Bachar