Thursday, March 26, 2020

Kol H'Kvod: In his final act as Knesset Speaker, Edelstein ‘upholds dignity’ of Parliament - by Alex Traiman

...for Edelstein, who has loyally served the State of Israel in numerous capacities, including the last seven years as Knesset Speaker, his last act in his current position may have been finest. By resigning, he is refusing to allow the parliament he ran diligently to become an extension of the judiciary branch under his watch.

Alex Traiman..
25 March '20..

In the latest chapter in Israel’s political dysfunction, longtime Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein dramatically resigned his post on Wednesday rather than fulfill an overreaching order of the Supreme Court to hold an immediate vote on the assignment of a new speaker.

In Israel’s 72-year history, a vote for a new speaker after an election has never taken place prior to the formation of a new ruling coalition.

Blue and White and its left-wing allies, together with the support of the Joint Arab List have been attempting to wrestle control of the parliament and to replace the speaker in order to pass retroactive and personal legislation specifically designed to make it illegal for Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government.

According to Knesset bylaws, “The Speaker shall run the affairs of the Knesset, represent it externally, uphold its dignity, maintain order during its sittings, and oversee the observance of its Rules of Procedure. He shall preside over the sittings of the Knesset, and run them, determine the results of votes, and in addition fulfill any task assigned to him by law.”

In between an election and the formation of a new government, Knesset bylaws state that the incumbent Knesset Speaker remains in his role. The bylaws also state explicitly that a new Knesset Speaker does not need to be voted upon until the very same day that a coalition is formed.

When Edelstein refused Blue and White’s call to hold a snap vote for speaker prior to the bylaw’s deadline, the party sent a petition to the Supreme Court.

The High Court could have decided not to accept the petition on the grounds that ruling on legislative bylaws oversteps judicial boundaries.

(Continue to Full Column)

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