The left-wing Labor and the center-left Yesh Atid parties are mulling mass resignations from the Knesset to protest passage of the government’s judicial reform plan, and in the hopes of disrupting the completion of the legislative process.
Rumors circulated Monday evening, following the Knesset vote backing two key measures of the judicial reform plan, that the Yesh Atid party is currently considering terminating its own representation in the Knesset via a mass resignation.
MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) confirmed that the party is indeed weighing such an option.
Speaking with Galei Tzahal Tuesday morning, Stern said Yesh Atid is considering a push for a coordinated mass resignation of all lawmakers from the Opposition.
MK Debbie Biton (Yesh Atid) told Radio 104.5 North that the party has yet to make a decision on the mass resignation plan.
“The mass resignation of the Opposition? It has been discussed. The issue is still being considered.”
MK Efrat Rayten (Labor) later confirmed that her party is also looking into the possibility of withdrawing from the Knesset en masse.
“We in the Labor party are familiar with the idea, and no option is being ruled out.”
Under Israel’s Basic Law: The Knesset, parliamentary vacancies are to be filled by having the next candidate on the party’s list enter the Knesset.
Dr. Shuki Segev, a senior lecturer at Netanya Academic College’s law school, said the mass resignation of the entire Opposition could create a constitutional crisis for the Knesset – but would not topple the government.
“It isn’t clear what would happen if all the candidates on a party’s list resigned,” Segev told Ma’ariv. “It would lead to a constitutional crisis for the State of Israel, but would not, in any event, lead to the collapse of the government.”
In 1977, a similar conundrum faced the Knesset when the Development and Peace party of Shmuel Flatto-Sharon won two seats in the Ninth Knesset – despite the party being a one-man list, with no additional candidates.
The Development and Peace party received a single seat in the Knesset, while its second seat was discounted, and given to the party closest in the vote count as an additional seat.