Government Expansion Bill Passes First Reading

Almost eight weeks have passed since election day and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has still not declared his final government. 

It appears, Channel 10 suggested, that the Prime Minister is taking his time before swearing-in his fourth government, in order to try and broaden the narrow 61-MK coalition he has accumulated until now. 

But if, as rumors suggest, he is looking to bring the Zionist Union, as headed by Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog, into the coalition, he may face severe challenges. 

Herzog's criticism of Netanyahu grew super assertive on Monday, with the chairman going so far as to suggest repeat elections would be better for Israel than Likud rule, before threatening to cripple the new government. 

Meanwhile, a tense and angry Knesset discussion began Monday morning, over Netanyahu's proposal to increase the size of the Cabinet from 18 ministers to 22. 

The law would also allow Netanyahu to appoint ministers without portfolio in addition to loosening the limit on ministers and deputy ministers.

The High Court gave the Knesset the green light to discuss the law despite an appeal from Yesh Atid and after almost a full day of debate, it passed its first reading with the necessary majority of 61 MKs. 

Approval of the second and third readings will likely take place on Wednesday, giving Netanyahu more leeway in smoothing over the ministerial demands of members of his Likud party. 

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein announced Monday night that Netanyahu has a deadline of one week to swear-in his government. 

 
 

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/195300

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