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Attorney general says 6 permanent ministers must be appointed, and fast

Mandelblit tells Netanyahu and Gantz that half-dozen acting positions are set to expire in the coming weeks and can’t be extended

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit speaks at an event at Bar Ilan University, March 4, 2020. (Flash90)
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit speaks at an event at Bar Ilan University, March 4, 2020. (Flash90)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Thursday notified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his unity government partner Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz that they must speedily appoint permanent ministers to replace six acting positions that are set to expire.

Mandelblit warned that the terms of the acting ministers cannot be extended and that the permanent ministers must be approved by the Knesset plenum.

Following the notification, Gantz asked Netanyahu to raise the appointment of his Blue and White party’s MK Eitan Ginzburg as communications minister at the coming cabinet meeting on Sunday, the Walla news site reported.

Under Israeli government laws, an interim minister who replaces one who left the position can only be appointed for three months.

As the unity government between Netanyahu and Gantz collapsed over the failure to pass a state budget, various ministers either resigned or were booted from their posts amid a flurry of lawmakers switching allegiances.

Gantz is the defense minister and also acting communication minister, a position that will expire on March 16. Acting Water Resources Minister Yuval Steinitz and Acting Higher Education Minister Yoav Gallant will both end their terms on the 27th of the month.

Gantz is also acting justice minister, a position that will end on April 1. Acting Social Equality Minister Itzik Shmuli will end his term on April 8, and Acting Science Minister Chili Tropper will end his term on April 12.

Elections are being held on March 23 — the fourth round of voting in two years.

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