Knesset Rejects Bill Calling for New Elections Next October

The Knesset rejected last night a Tami Party private member’s bill for elections for a new Knesset next October, instead of the scheduled 1984 date. The rejection stemmed from a tie vote on the proposal and under Knesset rules, such a vote means a proposal does not pass.

Tami had wanted the proposal to be discussed immediately, without waiting the required 48 hours between submission of a proposal and debate on it. Failure of passage meant that the proposal must wait 48 hours and by that time, the Knesset will have left on its summer vacation.

A RIFT IS PATCHED UP

Meanwhile, a rift between Menahem Savidor of the Liberal Party faction of the coalition, who is the Knesset speaker, and Deputy Speaker Meir Cohen-Avidov of Herut, which led to the Deputy Speaker’s resignation, was patched up today.

The event which brought about the rift, which split coalition ranks, was the sudden and unexpected introduction and passage Monday night, at midnight, of a controversial bill aimed at curbing the right of archaeologists to dig in areas where there might be Jewish graves.

That vote took place after the Knesset was on the verge of ending its session following eight hours of debate on various bills,. Most MKs had left the Knesset building in the belief that the agenda had been completed.

At that point, Cohen-Avidov, who was chairing the session, announced that Menachem Porush of Aguda Israel would introduce his private member’s bill, “The Law to Protect Gravesites.” Herut Whip Ronnie Milo rounded up party members still in the Knesset building and the Porush draft proposal was accepted and sent to committee.

But Savidor declared that Cohen-Avidov, as his deputy, had known “full well” that the Porush bill had been placed on yesterday’s agenda, not that of Monday night, and that the deputy speaker had no right to change the agenda by moving the Porush bill up a day early. The deputy speaker is a co-sponsor of the Porush measure.

Savidor then said that if his deputy’s reason for changing the agenda was that he did not know the Porush measure was on yesterday’s agenda, “he is not telling the truth.” Cohen-Avidov, declaring he had been grossly insulted by Savidor, immediately announced his resignation as deputy speaker.

A RECONCILIATION MEETING

At a reconciliation meeting arranged by Avraham Shapiro of Aguda Israel, Savidor said he had not known, when he made his charge against his deputy, that the deputy had come late to a Knesset presidium meeting at which a decision had been made to delay a vote on the Porush bill and presumably did not know about the decision.

Savidor apologized for calling his deputy a liar and Cohen-Avidov withdrew his resolution. But Savidor insisted he had not withdrawn his charge that presenting the Porush measure as his deputy had done was an “unfair and unparlimentary ambush.”

The issue may be referred to the Supreme Court for a ruling,though experts on parliamentary rules said the Supreme Court was virtually certain to decline to involve itself in Knesset procedure and would tell the Knesset to put its own house in order.

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