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Justice minister details bill that would block Netanyahu from forming government

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar has announced details of a bill he is drafting that will prevent those accused of serious offenses from forming a government.

The bill would block an individual from forming a government if the charges he faces carry a potential prison sentence of more than three years.

That person would also be blocked from participating in a confidence vote on a new government and won’t be able to serve as “alternate prime minister” — a position created for the previous power-sharing government between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz and carried on to the current one between Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid.

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar speaks at a press conference in Jerusalem, on July 6, 2021. (Amit Shabi/Pool)

The draft leaves some leeway — with the head of the Central Elections Committee able to wave it in certain circumstances.

“We must prepare better governance regulations for the future, which fortify Israel’s values,” Sa’ar says in a statement. “We are obligated to prevent a return of the situation Israel experienced recently.”

Likud reacts to the bill with disdain, saying that “Sa’ar, who is scraping the bottom of the electoral threshold in all polls, is proposing an anti-democratic law in the style of Iran, which seeks to rule out the person supported by millions of citizens… embarrassing.”

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