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Yesh Atid threatens to stop vote for president over dispute with Levin

CM 25/05/2021

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 Next Wednesday’s election for a replacement for President Reuven Rivlin could end up being canceled, due to a dispute between Yesh Atid and Likud in the Knesset, sources in Yesh Atid said on Tuesday.

All 120 MKs are set to vote by secret ballot to choose Israel’s 11th president, in a contest between Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog and Israel Prize winning educator Miriam Peretz. 
But the special vote requires the rubber stamp of the Knesset Arrangements Committee that is currently headed by Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharrar. 
Elharrar wanted to bring them to a first reading in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday. But then Levin and his deputies decided that only government-backed bills would be brought to the plenum over the next two weeks.
Yesh Atid responded by adding more deputy Knesset speakers from the opposition to outnumber Levin and neutralize him. But only Levin can convene his deputies to change the Knesset’s agenda, and he has no plans to do so.
Cancelling the race for president is the only weapon Yesh Atid can use in the Knesset to try to force Levin’s hand. 

But if no election for president is held by June 9, Rivlin would be replaced on a temporary basis by Levin, because he is Knesset speaker. 
Sources in Yesh Atid acknowledged that enabling Levin to become the acting president was not a very effective threat for their cause. 
The sources said Levin and his staff had not yet responded to their threat on Tuesday evening, ten hours after the threat was broadcast in the morning on Army Radio.
Levin’s office said Elharrar’s true intention was to disperse the Knesset next Wednesday, and it was disrespectful to hold political votes on a day of electing a new president. A spokesman for Levin said he would not respond to her threat.
“This is a very stupid threat,” a Levin associate said. “The election for president is intended to unify Israel, especially at a time when unity is so needed. She can hold the vote in her committee if she wants, or let Yariv become president.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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