Last ditch effort to prevent elections

Netanyahu and Gantz. Photo: Tomer Neuberg & Olivier Fitoussi / Flash90

Likud and Blue and White agree to postpone deadline for approving budget by two weeks.

The Likud and Blue and White parties have decided to advance a bill stipulating approval
of the state budget for 2020 by December 31, 2020, and of the state budget for 2021 by January 5, 2021.

According to the bill, lacking approval for the two budgets by those dates, the Knesset will dissolve and elections will be held on March 23, 2021.

The bill is to allow for dialogue between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz until Tuesday evening. The Knesset will dissolve automatically if the parties cannot reach an agreement by then.

The Blue and White party said, “We will begin advancing the process and at the same time exhaust the efforts to bring about a functioning government, with a budget that millions of Israelis now need, appointments and maintaining the rule of law and the lack of influence of the Prime Minister on his trial.”

“If we cannot reach understandings which will fulfill the coalition agreement, and the citizens of Israel will have a functioning unity government through cooperation and while maintaining democracy and the rule of law, we will withdraw the bill and the Knesset will dissolve next Tuesday,” the party added.

Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Liberman attacked the agreements between the Likud and Blue and White and wrote on Twitter, “Gantz – a reusable rag. That’s what happens when the Knesset seat comes first.”

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina) wondered how the coalition would pass the budget within five days.

“Blue and White tonight reiterated their commitment to preserving democracy, and in the same breath they make a mockery out of it, out of basic laws, and out of the Knesset, and now also seek to pass the 2021 budget in three readings in the Knesset in five days. There has never been such a thing and there is no chance in the world to hold a serious debate in the Knesset on a state budget in five days. Strange democracy…” he tweeted.

MK Ayelet Shaked said, “Just as I predicted (it was not difficult), a glorious caving by Blue and White and the transfer of the 2020 budget only. Netanyahu and Gantz are taking the state budget hostage over dubious political deals and turning the Basic Laws into plasticine. Israel deserves a new leadership.”

(Arutz 7).

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