Knesset Debates Legislation Meant to Pave Way for Netanyahu-Gantz Coalition

Series of marathon debates expected to end Thursday as parties seek to implement agreement and form new government

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Benny Gantz at the swearing-in of the Knesset in March, 2020.
Benny Gantz at the swearing-in of the Knesset in March, 2020.Credit: Gideon Sharon / Knesset Spokesman
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

The Knesset launched on Tuesday a series of marathon debates to win final ratification for legal amendments designed to allow the Likud-Kahol Lavan coalition agreement to be implemented.

Lawmakers gave preliminary approval on Monday to the amendments to the Basic Law on Government and the Basic Law on the Knesset. The second and third rounds of voting are due to begin on Wednesday, and to be completed by Thursday.

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In all, the opposition has tabled some 8,000 objections to the proposed amendments, which might have entitled lawmakers to filibuster for hours had not an agreement been reached in the House Committee to set limits to the debate. None of the opposition's objections were accepted.

The debate began at 10:00 A.M. and is due to last through 4 P.M., at which time voting will begin on some 1,000 objections. In addition, 90 percent of Knesset debates next week will be devoted to lawmakers stating their objections to the new legislation.

The special subcommittee appointed to advance the legislation and the coalition deal did approve a proposal by Kahol Lavan lawmaker Avi Nissenkorn to lower the ceiling for amending most laws from 75 to a majority of 70.

Only 61 votes are usually required to amend a basic or constitutional law, which would make it relatively easy for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek to dissolve parliament before implementing a deal to rotate the premiership with Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz.

Last week lawmaker Yair Lapid, leader of Yesh Atid-Telem, said his party would provide Netanyahu with the majority necessary to cancel the agreement if he were to cancel the rotation deal and hold a new election.

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