NO ELECTIONS? Edelstein Gets Netanyahu To Re-Examine Canceling Elections

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The Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, together with other high ranking officials in the Likud and the Blue and White Party, has been examining a move that would eliminate the dispersion of the 21st Knesset and the elections to the 22nd Knesset.

The report came via Channel 12 who broke the news that Edelstein was involved. The first part of the process involved is to reconvene the current Knesset which can be done by the Speaker and annulling the election recess.

The second part would be to formulate new legislation that will create a legal basis for canceling the dispersion of the Knesset. Such a legislation basis does not currently exist.

The legislation would need to be passed by a majority of 80 MKs requiring a broad consensus. In response to the report,  the Likud said in response that: “Prime Minister Netanyahu is taking Knesset Speaker Edelstein seriously and will review his proposal in the coming days.”

Meanwhile, the Central Elections Committee convened ahead of elections for the 22nd Knesset on Tuesday for a first time, with the participation of Aryeh Deri and Chanan Meltzer. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri commented, “A needless and expensive election. A waste of public funds”. The chairman of the committee, retired justice Chanan Meltzer commented, “Now that we are in the second election, I can only hope there will not be a third [election]”.

Deri stressed the needless cost and use of public funds for yet another Knesset election, as the nation’s Central Election Committee convened for a first time to prepare for election, which is set for Tuesday, September 17, 2019. Deri blames the chairman of the Yisrael Beitenu party, MK Avigdor Lieberman, for causing the election because he refused all offers to enter the coalition, compelling the events that lead to dissolving the Knesset and calling for new elections. Deri highlighted “Israel faces many problems, and instead of dealing with these issues, to work to assist citizens, we are now entering into another election period and that very same person who caused the election still warns regarding the amount of the [national] deficit”.

Justice Meltzer added cynically, “Now that we are in the second election, I can only hope there will not be a third”.

On Monday night KAN 11 News reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had offered the head of the Blue and White party, MK Benny Gantz, a rotation option to prevent dissolving the Knesset; and to enter the government to form a national unity government, and thereby preventing the need to dissolve the Knesset and have new elections.

According to the report filed by Ze’ev Kam, senior Blue and White officials explain on the night the Knesset voted to dissolve itself, in the heat of last-ditch efforts to avoid such a move, Netanyahu sent a senior party representative to offer Gantz the national unity government and rotation option. According to the report, Gantz rejected the offer.

Kam added that Likud officials refuse to respond to the report, but the party released a short response, “an outright lie”.

One is reminded that Netanyahu did his utmost to form a coalition government, seeking to bring 61 MKs together to form his fifth government, but those efforts failed as he could not bring the 5-seat Yisrael Beitenu party on board. The Likud turned to a number of parties in the hope of bringing them on board, including members of Blue and White. Likud also made a last-minute gesture to the Labor party, offering it the Finance Ministry and three additional cabinet portfolios, along with the cancelation of certain laws the party finds objectionable; but this too was met with refusal.

Simultaneously, a senior source is quoted telling Walla News that Natan Eshel, a senior negotiator during coalition talks, offered MK Gabi Ashkenazi, the number four man on the Blue and White roster, the Defense Ministry post as he is a former IDF Chief of Staff, as well as offering Tal Rousso of the Labor party the Deputy Defense Minister slot. Rousso is a retired IDF major-general. All of the offers were met with refusal.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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