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Netanyahu Freezes Governance Bill

Netanyahu freezes controversial Yisrael Beytenu bill in face of criticism; law would have raised Knesset threshold to 4%.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/15/2013, 2:02 PM

Yechimovich and Netanyahu
Yechimovich and Netanyahu
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to freeze the controversial Governance Bill put forth by Yisrael Beytenu, according to the Israeli daily Maariv.

Netanyahu reportedly opposes one of the more controversial parts of the bill: the increase of the vote threshold from two percent to four percent, meaning that only parties that received at least 4 percent of the vote would enter Knesset.

He has apparently adopted the views put forth by several leading Likud politicians, who have argued that the increase to the vote threshold is unnecessary and will do more damage than good.

According to the report, Netanyahu discussed the matter with Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Lieberman before deciding to freeze the bill by delaying debate in the Knesset’s Constitution and Law Committee. Lieberman agreed to the move.

Agreement to a renewed debate on the Governance Bill, and particularly on the raise to the vote threshold, was a critical part of the agreement between the Coalition and Opposition on the eve of the vote on the national budget.

The opposition had attempted to delay a hearing on the budget – and with it, the hearing on the Governance Bill – by submitting thousands of objections and insisting that each one be voted on with a roll call vote, a procedure that takes roughly 15 minutes.

In order to end the roll call votes and allow for debate to move forward, the coalition guaranteed that the Prime Minister would review the Governance Bill.