JERUSALEM (Jul. 11)
A proposed bill to hold the general elections and municipal elections on separate date kept the Knesset in turmoil on Monday, as members traded angry and ugly accusations.
The measure passed its first reading last month. It is backed by the Labor Party and the religious factions, which believe it would be to their benefit.
Likud is fiercely opposed. It has bottled up the bill in the House Committee and has vowed to kill it. But the bill came before the Knesset plenum for further debate Monday morning, touching off an hour of shouting and heckling by Likud deputies.
Their ire was directed at Knesset Speaker Shlomo Hillel, a Laborite. He ruled in favor of a move by Rafi Edri, chairman of Labor’s Knesset faction, who had maneuvered the bill out of the Likud-controlled committee to the floor.
There were demands for Hillel to resign. The session ended with a decision to send the election bill back to the House Committee.
Knesset elections are scheduled to be held on Nov. 1. Unless the law is changed, Israeli voters will choose their mayors and town council members on the same day.