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AG backs law that would bar Netanyahu from being PM, says it isn’t personal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset, on November 20, 2019 (left); Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit addresses the press in Jerusalem, on November 21, 2019. (Gali Tibon; Menahem Kahana/AFP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset, on November 20, 2019 (left); Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit addresses the press in Jerusalem, on November 21, 2019. (Gali Tibon; Menahem Kahana/AFP)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit gives his blessing to Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s bill that would bar any lawmaker charged with serious crime from becoming prime minister, saying it isn’t personally directed against opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The amendment isn’t personal, it is general and forward-looking, while including qualifications and oversight mechanisms,” Mandelblit says.

“Additionally, this amendment doesn’t create a precedent out of nowhere. It goes along the path set by [previous] legislation and Supreme Court rulings,” he adds, referring to a 1990s ruling that said criminal defendants can’t become ministers.

“The suggested law aims to apply the current legal situation regarding the eligibility of other elected officials also to the eligibility of the prime minister,” Mandelblit says. “It ensures statesmanship will prevail over any personal interest.”

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