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Liberman Intends to Make it Harder to Topple Government

Aug 15, 2022
Naftali Bennett

On Sunday, Avigdor Liberman, the chief of the Yisrael Beytenu party, stated that the first bill he would introduce in the Knesset would be aimed at making it difficult to topple a government.

He unveiled the platform for his party and made a number of political and socioeconomic promises while doing so.

Toppling the government

The Knesset comprises of 120 seats and a 61 seat majority is required to form and take down Israeli governments.

Liberman supports the current simple majority that is required for forming a government, but proposed that the number of votes needed for bringing down the government be raised.

He said that 90 votes should be required to bring down a government in its first two years, which is the same number needed for removing a Knesset speaker.

He asserted that this would benefit the citizens of Israel because they would have reassurance of two years of political stability.

The leader of the Yisrael Beytenu party also said that he would support national budgets of two years rather than one.

The background

Liberman served as the Finance Minister in the current outgoing Israeli government and its fall had been accelerated by concerns that a coalition MK would rebel.

This would have provided the 61 votes needed to bring down the government and result in early elections.

The previous government had been brought down in 2020 when it had not been able to pass an annual budget.

This was because of the political wrangling between Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister at the time, and Benny Gantz, the Defense Minister and his coalition partner.

There is also a different option of changing the government in Israel, which requires 61 members of the Knesset to vote for swapping in another coalition.

This does not require elections, but it was unclear if the proposal put forward by Liberman would also cover this scenario.

A different tack

Liberman appears to have taken a different tack, as opposed to other politicians who have also been campaigning.

Most of them have suggested broad governments in order to ensure stability, but Liberman has suggested two years of guaranteed governance for this purpose.

Ensuring political stability has become a longstanding political challenge for Israel. In 74 years, the country has seen about 25 elected Knessets and 36 governments.

On Sunday, Liberman also vowed that prime ministers would also be limited to just two terms. He also talked about promoting a bill to prevent politicians from taking office if they are under criminal indictment.

The founder of Israel Free and member of Yisrael Beytenu, Eli Avidar had given his support in the outgoing Knesset for a similar bill.

This had been targeted towards Benjamin Netanyahu, the former Prime Minister, who is currently on trial in three different cases of corruption.

The former premier has denied the charges and Avidar had been protesting against him. Liberman has also adopted the bill as part of his campaign promises against Netanyahu, even though his party’s ideology is right wing.

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