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‘Barkat Law’ limiting campaign self-finance passes preliminary Knesset reading

Likud lawmaker Nir Barkat speaks at a conference in Tel Aviv, June 10, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Likud lawmaker Nir Barkat speaks at a conference in Tel Aviv, June 10, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The Knesset approves in a preliminary reading legislation aimed at limiting the ability of wealthy candidates to self-finance their political campaigns. The bill has become known as the “Barkat Law,” as it is widely viewed as targeted at Likud MK Nir Barkat, a hi-tech billionaire and potential successor to Benjamin Netanyahu.

The coalition votes down a version of the bill put forward by Likud MK David Amsalem and then approves, 64-17, one issued by New Hope MK Sharren Haskel.

The legislation will limit officials running for public office — and their family members — from contributing more than NIS 100,000 per year to their own campaigns.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid says that the coalition should not support the legislation by Amsalem, but rather the version from Haskel, since the firebrand Likud MK “leads a violent and abusive discourse in the Knesset plenum and shames the status of the Knesset.”

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