Coalition Agreement: Up Knesset Threshold to 4%

Likud, Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi argue final coalition issue, agree to raise Knesset threshold.

Maayana Miskin,

Knesset plenum
Knesset plenum
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Likud, Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) parties continued coalition negotiations on Tuesday night. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has until Saturday night to inform President Shimon Peres that he has succeeded in creating a government.

The new government must be sworn in by the next week.

According to Channel 2, the parties have agreed to raise the Knesset threshold to 4% of the vote. The new threshold would mean that the 20th Knesset would have no parties with fewer than 5 MKs.

The proposed law follows elections in which nearly a quarter of a million voters chose parties that did not pass the current 2% threshold needed to enter parliament. Of the current parties, four – Hadash, Ra’am Ta’al, Balad and Kadima – have fewer than five seats.

Likud and Yesh Atid are reportedly still at odds over the Education Ministry and Ministry of the Interior, with both parties seeking to have one of their MKs appointed to head the ministries. According to an earlier report, the two are considering sharing control of the Education Ministry, with Gidon Saar of Likud and Shai Piron of Yesh Atid trading off as minister.

Likud, Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi all reportedly want to appoint the next chairman of the Finance Committee from within their party.