Bill Advanced to Set 8-Year Term Limit on Prime Minister

Israeli Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel came a step closer to imposing term limits on prime ministers as Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar released a draft version of a bill for eventual inclusion in the country’s quasi-constitutional Basic Law, The Jerusalem Post said on Tuesday.

The law, which would set eight years as the limit, would not be retroactive, and so would not apply to former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who could run for the office again, even though he has already served over eight years as premier.

However, another bill in the works would ban anyone indicted from forming a government, and that would apply to Netanyahu, currently on trial after being indicted on corruption charges.

“The responsibility to limit term is part of the new political platform and was involved in the baselines of the government,” said Sa’ar.

“A prolonged rule brings with it a concentration of power and risk of corruption. Therefore, the term limitation principle needs to be included in the Base Law.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz welcomed the news, tweeting, “Blue and White submitted the bill, which is a fundamental part of the party’s platform, in every one of the recent Knesset forums. We will do everything necessary so that the bill passes and becomes a law of the State of Israel.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid joined in: “This is an important law that will keep the leadership clean of corruption.”