Lieberman Pushes for Veto-less Coalition

YERUSHALAYIM -
(L-R:) Professor Amnon Rubinstein, Israel’s former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman and professor of law Uriel Reichman during a press conference about changing the system of government in the Israeli Knesset yesterday. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
(L-R:) Professor Amnon Rubinstein, Israel’s former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman and professor of law Uriel Reichman during a press conference about changing the system of government in the Israeli Knesset yesterday. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Parties in the next Israeli government coalition will not enjoy the veto power they have held since 1974 if Likud Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman has his way, The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.

The purpose of removing the veto is to pave the way for electoral reform aimed at sidelining smaller parties, particularly chareidi ones. Shas and United Torah Judaism have vetoed such reforms in the past.

At a Knesset press conference with the heads of pro-electoral reform organizations on Sunday, Lieberman said he would try to reach a consensus on electoral reforms with all the parties that are interested in joining the coalition.

“Most parties support such changes, but we cannot force our will on everyone,” Lieberman said, referring to the chareidi parties.

Electoral reform advocates Uriel Reichman and Amnon Rubinstein advised Lieberman to remove the veto clause from the coalition agreement. A source close to Lieberman disclosed that he had agreed.

Lieberman is expected to push for raising the electoral threshold from two to at least three percent, which automatically would make the leader of the largest party prime minister; limiting the Cabinet to 18 ministers who would not be Knesset members; and no longer permitting toppling a prime minister by failing to pass the state budget.

In addition, he wants to make it harder to overthrow the government via no-confidence votes. Such motions, which can now be filed by any opposition faction, would require 65 MKs to come to the Knesset floor. Lieberman noted that while other reforms would take effect from the next election onward, this change could take effect immediately.

“The games of no-confidence votes erode the strength and the stature of the Knesset,” Lieberman said. “It is a waste of time to have no-confidence motions that have no chance of passing every week.”