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Lapid proposes new anti-corruption legislation

Speaking in front of prison, Yesh Atid chairman claims his party is the cleanest

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Yair Lapid with Yesh Atid members Yael German and Miki Levy announced a new legislation plan to fight corruption in Israeli politics outside the Ma'asiyahu Prison in Ramle, on February 2, 2015. (Flash90)
Yair Lapid with Yesh Atid members Yael German and Miki Levy announced a new legislation plan to fight corruption in Israeli politics outside the Ma'asiyahu Prison in Ramle, on February 2, 2015. (Flash90)

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid announced Monday that his party would push a new anti-corruption platform when the next Knesset session convenes.

Lapid made the announcement at a press conference in front of Maasiyahu Prison in Ramle, a minimum security facility that often holds politicians who have been found guilty of corruption.

Lapid recommended drastic new measures to curb the corruption he says is “infiltrating our lives.”

Yesh Atid’s proposal includes an extensive legislative package that would prohibit public figures from exercising their right to remain silent in police investigations, bar politicians from reentering political office if they are convicted of “moral turpitude” and increase sentencing for elected officials who steal from public funds.

Lapid claimed that his is the only faction able to put forth such legislation because “Yesh Atid is the only party – the only one – in which none of its leaders or Knesset members has been arrested, investigated, suspected, chose to remain silent, was convicted or sat in prison.”

This is a change from a statement Lapid made over the weekend, where he claimed that they were the only “clean” party of the major ones.

However, at least one Yesh Atid parliamentarian has been accused of financial irregularities.

Yesh Atid MK Boaz Toporovsky began his political career with the short-lived Tzabar party, which was comprised of and championed young people. As Tzabar chairman, Toporovsky ran in the 2008 elections, but failed to receive the necessary votes to get into the Knesset.

When the party was breaking up, one of its workers was not paid for his services, Haaretz reported last year. After requesting the money he was owed, and even after taking Toporovsky to labor court and winning, the funds never came through.

Toporovsky also spoke to police about the recent and extensive corruption scandal surrounding the Yisrael Beytenu party, but a Yesh Atid spokesperson insists this was only to assist police, and not because Toporovsky was necessarily involved.

According to a Haaretz poll released Sunday, Yesh Atid is currently expected to take nine seats in the upcoming election.

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