According to a media report, the Likud party of the opposition might bring a bill for a preliminary reading to the plenum floor this week for dispersing the Knesset and forcing fresh elections. The report said that the bill would be brought forward by Benjamin Netanyahu’s party on Wednesday, but also said that a final decision would not be made till the last moment.
Toppling the Government
Bringing a bill for Knesset dispersal is one of the three options that can be used to topple the government in Israel. Only a Knesset majority is needed for this preliminary vote of the dispersal bill. After this, there are three more readings of the bill and it has to pass with 61 MKs voting in favor out of the 120 MKs that make up the Knesset.
The other ways to topple the government involve are the failure of the government in passing a budget in a timely manner and a no-confidence vote that also requires 61 MKs voting in favor. The opposition had explored the possibility of bringing a dispersal bill to the plenum floor previously as well.
This was when Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, a lawmaker of the Meretz party, had announced that she was resigning from the coalition in the previous month. However, she returned to the alliance not long after and this showed that the measure would not have been successful.
In fact, Likud had also considered bringing such a bill forward in May as well, but had decided not to go ahead because the Islamist Ra’am party had joined the coalition again after freezing their membership. This killed the chances of the opposition to achieve the majority it needed for passing the bill. The reason the opposition party is reluctant to bring the bill forward is because if it does not pass through the preliminary reading, then they will not be able to bring it again for six months.
The Coalition is Teetering
On June 13th, Nir Orbach, a lawmaker of the Yamina party, announced that he was resigning from the coalition. His announcement put the political alliance in a minority in the Knesset, as they have two seats less than the opposition now. However, Orbach did add that he would not vote in favor of bringing down the government.
Instead, he said that he would focus on building a patriotic government within the existing Knesset. The Arab Joint Alliance’s head, Ayman Odeh said on Saturday that they would vote for the Knesset’s dispersal, but added that they did not want to see Netanyahu as the leader again. He said that they wanted this bad government to go, but they would not want Netanyahu to return as they do not want to harm the settlers or the possibility of peace.
A report on Thursday had indicated that Bennett had spoken to one of his political advisers about the possibility of setting up an alternative government with the Likud party. However, his Yamina party said no such discussion had happened.