Edelstein’s response means issue of vote on speaker now goes back to High Court

In rebuffing the High Court’s position that he should schedule a vote on his job by Wednesday, Knesset speaker Edelstein has thrown the issue back to the justices.

They will now consider his response and decide how to proceed.

Were the court to issue a formal ruling requiring Edelstein to schedule the vote by a specific imminent date, the speaker would again have to consider whether to do so. Were he to then refuse, as his fellow Likud MK Amir Ohana and others in the Netanyahu-led right-wing/Orthodox bloc are urging, Israel would find itself in a constitutional crisis.

Earlier Monday, the justices, responding to a petition by Blue and White, cited the opinions of the Knesset’s legal adviser and the attorney general in indicating that Edelstein should hold the vote — in which he would almost certainly lose his job to Blue and White candidate MK Meir Cohen — by Wednesday.

Rebuffing the justices’ stance, Edelstein responded with a 29-clause argument in which he argued that “a reasonable delay” in holding the vote on the Knesset speaker “does not come close to constituting real harm to the fabric of democratic life.”

His response culminated with the statement that he would “put the matter [of the vote] on the Knesset agenda when the political situation has become clear.”

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