Israel’s constitutional crisis deepened today as Knesset (parliament) speaker, Yuli Edelstein abruptly quit his post.
Edelstein, an ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had refused to hold a vote on a new government that could bring about a new political dawn in Israel without Netanyahu as a prime minister.
Likud Member and Knesset speaker, Yuli Edelstein, quits. pic.twitter.com/XgTa9UJdZZ
— ILTV (@ILTVNews) March 25, 2020
Following the March 2 elections – the third general elections in Israel in less than a year – head of the Blue and White party, Benny Gantz, announced his readiness to form a government with the support of 61 Knesset members.
Edelstein, however, refused to hold the vote. The speaker’s decision was deemed unconstitutional by the Israeli High Court of Justice, which rarely gets involved in the Knesset’s political proceedings.
Instead of implementing the court’s decision, Edelstein opted to resign entirely, thus worsening the country’s political, legal, and constitutional crisis.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) March 7, 2020
“Shortly after the new Knesset was sworn in, Edelstein declared it closed, first saying he’d done so for (corona)virus-related social distancing, and then saying he was trying to force Netanyahu’s and Gantz’s parties to form a unity government,” Bloomberg reported today.
Edelstein, who has been under pressure from Netanyahu’s allies in the Knesset, especially the country’s Interim Justice Minister Amir Ohana, to delay the vote in order to give Netanyahu more time to negotiate an exit from his trouble with the law.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) March 15, 2020
The controversial right-wing Israeli Prime Minister is hoping to avoid his previous scheduled corruption trial, which could potentially put him behind bars.
“Netanyahu has .. been accused by detractors of abusing his powers by using the coronavirus as cover to take steps such as putting the courts on an emergency footing in order to delay the March 17 start of his graft trial by two months,” Bloomberg also reported.
(The Palestine Chronicle)