Bennett Says Will Not Back Bill Barring Netanyahu From Being PM

YERUSHALAYIM

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett seen during a discussion and a vote on a bill to dissolve the Knesset, Wednesday. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Wednesday afternoon that he will not support a bill barring indicted politicians from forming a government, expected to be brought for a vote later in the day.

“The right to vote and to be elected is sacred and is the essence of democracy. This was and remains my opinion. Although we have seen that there are heavy prices [as a result of] the tenure of a criminal defendant, those who have to decide are the citizens of Israel,” Bennett wrote on social media.

“Especially on the eve of an election — do not try to change the rules of the game, but let them be decided at the ballot, and I am convinced that [people] will make the right choice,” he wrote. “I will therefore vote against the law.”

The long-talked-about bill is widely viewed as aimed personally against former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Former Bennett ally MK Nir Orbach, who heads the Knesset House Committee tasked with advancing the bill to dissolve the Knesset, said he would stall proceedings to allow Netanyahu the opportunity to present an alternative government and avoid elections.

In response, the coalition said the bill will go to the Constitution, Law and Justice committee to bypass Orbach.

Analysts say that on the off chance the bill does end up passing, it would most likely be struck down by the High Court due to its proximity to an election. Judges may also claim this to be a form of inappropriate personal legislation which solely targets Netanyahu.

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