Vote on Supermarket Law postponed

Coalition decides to postpone vote on Supermarket Law for one week, after understanding there will not be a majority.

Hezki Baruch,

Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The coalition decided on Monday evening to postpone the vote on the Supermarket Law for one week, after the coalition leaders understood that they would not be able to muster the majority needed to approve the bill.

The law would grant the Interior Minister the powers to block bylaws passed by municipal authorities that allow grocery stores and mini markets to open on Shabbat.

Minister David Azoulay, who is undergoing complicated medical treatment, could not be present for vote and MK Yehuda Glick was not present either due to the death of his wife. The opposition refused to grant the coalition a pairing, an informal arrangement between government and opposition parties whereby a parliament member agrees or is designated to abstain from voting while a member of the opposing party needs to be absent. In the absence of any possibility of pairing, Shas and United Torah Judaism decided to postpone the vote until next week.

Earlier, Shas chairman Aryeh Deri said he was shocked by the conduct of the opposition.

"It's important to emphasize that in the previous vote on the Supermarket Law, Minister Azoulay wanted to arrive and vote for the sake of the Sabbath, and I tried to arrange him a pairing. In the end, only one of the opposition agreed, MK Ilan Gilon, who showed humanity and granted him a pairing," said Deri.

“I hear about the opposition's unprecedented behavior, and I also mean Yisrael Beytenu, and I'm appalled at the inhumanity of the members here, to be deaf to people in their most difficult moments. Is this the message we want to convey to the public?" he wondered.

"I call upon opposition heads to regain their composure and to return to being human beings. The vote will pass anyway with God's help. Don't turn the political debate into a spectacle of inhumanity," Deri said.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) accused Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and his Yisrael Beytenu party of creating unnecessary coalition friction by actively protesting the bill.

"One must be very responsible and cautious, which Liberman isn't doing. He claims the coalition agreement is on his side, but only he thinks so; no one agrees with him. I'll make every effort with my allies not to be dragged into elections. Because in order to achieve the same result that we have today, we don't need elections,” Ariel told Arutz Sheva.

"Why waste two billion shekels and create tensions and rifts? Even if one party gets more and the other less, the Right will still be in power, that's my assessment. So all these elections are unnecessary and should wait until their time comes," he added.


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