High Court Tells Blue and White to Wait on Camera Bill

YERUSHALAYIM -

The High Court notified the Blue and White Party that its petition against allowing political parties to take cameras into polling places was submitted prematurely, and consideration of it will have to wait until after the bill is enacted as law, and then it can be challenged, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.

The ruling was in line with previous court decisions which refused to hear arguments against legislation before it was passed by the Knesset.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said he intends to have the bill passed in time for Likud to be able to legally deploy cameras in the September 17 voting. Netanyahu has said that election day surveillance is necessary to prevent anyone stealing the elections. In April, Likud deployed over 1,000 camera-carrying activists to Arab towns, where they suspected fraud. Critics say the Likud is trying to suppress the Arab vote, which invariably goes against Likud candidates.

The prime minister reportedly plans to fast-track the bill through the Knesset. In its peitition to the High Court, Blue and White noted that normally 21 days is the minimum amount of time required to debate a bill, that fast-tracking was unconstitutional and that it would be impossible to implement the bill properly in such a short time.

Likud has already invested heavily in a another surveillance operation in September and expects to be ready to go by that time.