Gideon Sa'ar in Knesset
Gideon Sa'ar in Knesset Noam Moskowitz/Knesset spokesperson

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar's bill to impose term limits on the position of prime minister passed in its first reading in the Knesset Monday night.

66 MKs voted in favor of the bill, with 48 voting against it.

The Yesh Atid faction responded to the vote, saying, "We promised and kept it - from the beginning, Yesh Atid promised that it would limit the prime minister's term. Endless years in a position of power lead to sabotage and governmental corruption. We are enacting the law today, because it is unhealthy for Israeli democracy for a person to serve more than eight years."

"We are seeing and hearing these days in court how too long a rule leads to corruption and we are now putting an end to this," the faction added.

Minister Gideon Sa'ar wrote on Twitter, "Yes, we have changed the rules of the game: we are working for the citizens of Israel and not for the personal interests of one person."

Sa'ar began the discussion by presenting the bill: "Prolonged rule by one person is a harmful thing. In the face of the dangers of excessive concentration of power and the resulting enslavement, we offer a better and more balanced arrangement and a large majority of Israeli citizens support the idea and prefer it to the threat of an unlimited term in office."

"A similar principle of term limits had appeared for about a decade in our rulebook, and was repealed twenty years ago. I believe the reality we have experienced in recent years has shown that the term limit should be returned to the rulebook," Sa'ar added.

He said, "Opponents of term limits seek to leave the door open for an indefinite term. The aspiration for an indefinite term is not about the time in power but, as we have recently heard directly, also the lack of any balances and other restraints, from the courts to the opposition."

"I have set myself the goal of strengthening the foundations of our regime as a Jewish and democratic state, and here we are placing an important pillar for the future. I know that the faction that has the greatest support for the law is the Likud faction," he claimed.

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