Sa’ar Preparing Bill to Prevent Indicted MKs From Forming Gov’t

YERUSHALAYIM -
Then-Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R) speaks with then-Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar in 2012. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL/FLASH90)

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, chairman of New Hope, revealed that he is preparing a bill to deny indicted MKs from forming a government in an interview published in Yediot Acharonot Friday.

“I have this week ordered the Justice Ministry to prepare a bill stating the President will not be able to hand the mandate of forming a government to an indicted MK,” Sa’ar said in his interview.

“I intend on presenting the bill to the Knesset at the start of the winter session, and it will come into effect starting from the swearing in of the 25th Knesset,” Sa’ar added.

Sa’ar, a former Likud member, repeatedly said throughout his campaign that he would not join a government led by Binyamin Netanyahu. After the results came in, Sa’ar denied all suspicions of having considered a rotation in the Prime Minister’s Office with Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, however, did not rule out a joint government with his predecessor. Prior to the establishment of the Yamina-Yesh Atid coalition, Bennett attempted joining a right-wing bloc led by Netanyahu, which fell through when Netanyahu failed to acquire the necessary 61 votes.

Yet Sa’ar claimed in his interview this morning that this bill, which effectively would prevent Netanyahu from forming a government in the next elections, is coordinated with Bennett.

According to Channel 12, however, Yamina released a statement denying the claim and said, “Bennett does not support nor promote the bill.”

In the interview, Sa’ar also rejected allegations that he joined with far-left and Arab parties only in order to remove Netanyahu from power.

“With all due respect, the Labor Party was a partner in Netanyahu’s second government as well as in his fifth and final government. Everyone remembers how Netanyahu courted Ra’am. ‘Abu-Yair’ began this process. Only he said to Mansour Abbas, ‘I am the only one who can do it.’ So it’s not only him.”

Sa’ar also said he does not rule out the use of the new law approved by the Knesset earlier this month, which allows four MKs to legally split from a faction in the Knesset. “It is too early to talk about it. I cannot predict in advance what developments there will be. But no possibility can be ruled out. There are people in the Likud with whom I keep in touch. I would not say that there is an axis with them, but I have some friends there.”