A-G Expected to Challenge Coalition for Technical Reasons

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is expected to oppose Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government on legal grounds, Yediot Aharonot reports on Sunday morning, despite the fact that agreements have already been signed. 

Weinstein banned allocating funds to specific parties or MKs as part of coalition deals during the past elections season, but Netanyahu made two such deals with Jewish Home and United Torah Judaism (UTJ), according to the daily. 

UTJ will receive a yearly fund of 120 million shekels ($31,066,582), according to the terms of its deal with Likud, or some 20 million shekels ($5,177,764) per each of the six MKs to sit in the Knesset. 

Jewish Home will receive 160 million shekels ($41,422,110) per year for political ends that have not been formally defined, or some 20 million shekels for each of the 8 MKs currently due to sit in the Knesset. 

The World Zionist Organization (WZO) Settlement Division, the legal liaison between Jews in Judea-Samaria and the Israeli government, will also receive 50 million shekel ($12,944,410) per year, according to that agreement, and will be the responsibility of incoming agriculture minister Uri Ariel. 

In March, Weinstein published guidelines on the implementation of political agreements with budgetary significance. According to the guidelines, funds cannot be marked as "belonging" to parties or factions even after its inclusion in the Budget Law, and officials at the Ministry of Finance will no longer receive instructions regarding the application and implementation of the budget from anyone but the ministers involved in the relevant portfolios. 

The guidelines also stated that no political agreement can determine the specific budget for a body of government, to prevent the exploitation of said funds for personal or political benefits; when exceptions were to be made, a specific system of checks and balances was designed to be put in place to monitor the conduct of the political parties involved. 

Despite these, the current coalition agreements clearly allocated budgets to specific parties, and it may become a stumbling block for Netanyahu's 61-MK government, according to the news agency. 

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/195223

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