Following a 27-hour filibuster, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s governing coalition succeeded in passing an amendment to Basic Law: The Government that guarantees a rotation in the Prime Minister's Office.
The law now sets August 27, 2023, as the date when Bennett will be replaced by Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, whose term is set to end on November 11, 2025.
The legislation sets rules to ensure parity between the right- and left-wing blocs in the coalition.
If the state budget does not pass or MKs rebel and vote to disperse the Knesset, the changeover can happen earlier. But in a display of trust, a clause that would make Lapid prime minister if Bennett tried to join a government led by another MK was removed.
The law also permits Bennett to appoint a second deputy in the Prime Minister’s Office in addition to Yamina MK Abir Kara. This clause is intended for Ra’am (United Arab List) leader Mansour Abbas, but he is not expected to take the post immediately.
The opposition boycotted the final votes on clauses and amendments to protest the coalition’s initiating an additional roll-call vote in a manner the opposition considered unfair. Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) said he had the right to add more roll-call votes as long as they were balanced.
Likud MK David Amsalem accused the coalition of “bullying.” Knesset Law and Constitution Committee chairman Gilad Kariv (Labor), whose committee legislated the bill, accused the opposition of “losing its marbles.”
The final reading of the bill passed by a vote of 61-2.
New Hope MK Zvi Hauser was released from Jerusalem’s Hadassah-University Medical Center in Ein Kerem just in time to participate in the votes. He was in the hospital for a week after suffering what he called “a mild neurological incident.”
On Wednesday, the coalition will bring to a vote the final readings of a bill that would change the makeup of the Rabbinical Judges Selection Committee. The bill fell two weeks ago after Levy mistakenly and voted against it.
It will only be decided at the last minute whether to bring to a vote the cannabis decriminalization bill that was postponed two weeks ago because it lacked a majority.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz is expected to delay his departure to France until he participates in both of those votes in an effort to pass the bills.