Israel Heads to Elections:
Ministers vote to dissolve Knesset

Ministerial committee backs bill to dissolve Knesset, paving way for full Knesset vote Wednesday.

David Rosenberg,

The Knesset
The Knesset
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

A government committee responsible for securing coalition support for legislation has approved a bill to dissolve the Knesset and hold early elections.

On Tuesday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation – a group of ministers representing each of the five parties in the coalition – green-lighted a bill to dissolve the 20th Knesset, and to push up elections for the 21st Knesset from November 5th, 2019 to April 9th.

The committee’s vote guarantee’s full coalition backing for dissolving the Knesset.

The bill itself will be brought to a vote before the Knesset plenum on Wednesday, and is expected to be passed with a wide majority.

Following the passage of the bill to dissolve the current Knesset, coalition bills which do not enjoy support from opposition lawmakers will not be brought up for votes - even if they have already passed their first readings.

Until the new elections are held and a new government formed, the Knesset will only vote on bills with broad support, including from opposition MKs.

Legislation pushed by the coalition, including a new land regulation bill for Judea and Samaria, which would normalize the status of thousands of Jewish homes in the region, will now be shelved.

On Monday, coalition leaders voted unanimously to dissolve the Knesset and go to early elections.

“In the name of budgetary and national responsibility, party leaders in the coalition agreed unanimously to dissolve the Knesset and go to new elections at the beginning of April, following a full four-year term,” a coalition spokesperson announced Monday afternoon.

The decision was reached after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened party leaders from his narrow ruling coalition in a last-ditch effort to chart a path forward for a crucial haredi draft bill, aimed at preserving draft deferments for full-time yeshiva students, while imposing financial sanctions on yeshivas which fail to meet enlistment quotas.

After it became clear, however, that a majority could not be secured for the bill, party leaders endorsed a plan to dissolve the Knesset and go to early elections in April.