Vote on Controversial Norwegian Law Postponed

The Knesset plenum.

A vote in the Knesset plenum on the controversial Expanded Norwegian Law was postponed on Wednesday, due to a technical dispute over the Knesset committees.

The Knesset’s legal advisers said that the bill could not come to a vote, because the appropriate Knesset committees to legislate it had not been formed. A meeting of the Knesset’s Arrangements Committee that had been set for Wednesday morning was delayed due to disputes over committees.

The so-called Norwegian Law is an amendment to the Basic Law: The Knesset, by which an MK who is a minister or deputy minister may resign his position in the Knesset in favor of another person on his party’s list, while continuing to serve as minister.

If the person who resigned leaves the Cabinet, they are able to return to the Knesset in place of their replacement. The legislation became commonly known as the “Norwegian Law” due to a similar system being in place in Norway.

Netanyahu’s former Chief of Staff Natan Eshel told Maariv that the real reason the bill was not brought to a vote was that the Likud was worried it would lead to the coalition losing three mandates to the opposition, being that if the Blue and White ministers would resign, the MKs of Yesh Atid, who are on the same list, would enter the Knesset.

The Yesh Atid party expressed satisfaction with the bill’s postponement, saying, “No matter why it was delayed, we are happy that a bill that would have wasted NIS 100 million will not be brought to a vote.”

The Knesset’s Arrangement’s Committee voted on Monday to expedite the bill, which the government had intended to pass in the first day of voting in the new Knesset, on Wednesday.