Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's third term may be his last – if a group of Opposition ministers get their way.
Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid, Zionist Union chairman MK Yitzhak Herzog, and Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Liberman are promoting the advancement of a term limit bill this month which would see Prime Ministers limited to two terms.
The bill, initiated by MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union), fell during a previous Knesset session, Channel 2 reports – but the chairs are joining forces to revive it and force Netanyahu to attend the vote.
The proposal notes that democracy is not royalty – and that a long stay in the prime ministerial seat gives its occupant unfair advantage for the next election.
"It's very important in a democratic system to see changes in leadership, in order to prevent degeneration and detachment," the explanatory note to the bill states. "Democracy is not a monarchy, and it is necessary to avoid a government headed by the same person for years."
The two-term limit produces a stable government, the bill's proponents argue; the Prime Minister's incentive will therefore be to maintain a strong coalition and not rush to another election.
While the aim is clearly at Netanyahu, the note stipulates that there will be no limit on the party's ability to hold power for multiple terms – i.e., that Likud could remain the ruling party indefinitely if leadership changes every two terms.
"Research shows consistently and unambiguously that power and influence of one person is too strong and is not good for the human mind," Michaeli stated. "Democracy is not an empire or monarchy. This is exactly why we need, occasionally, to replace the Prime Minister of the government, to divide the balance of power and keep things in proportion."
Likud responded by attacking Liberman for his support of the bill, noting he supported throwing out the Zoabi Law and adding he is "attempting to bring down the Netanyahu government" through "special interest and anti-democratic legislation."