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Netanyahu said planning expanded ‘Norwegian law’ to ease passage of problematic laws

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Bezalel Smotrich in the Knesset on June 21, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90)
Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Bezalel Smotrich in the Knesset on June 21, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90)

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is planning on implementing an expanded version of the so-called Norwegian law, in a bid to fill the Knesset with compliant MKs who will not oppose controversial legislation, the Haaretz daily reports, citing Likud sources.

Netanyahu is facing demands from his potential far-right and ultra-Orthodox coalition partners to agree to pass a series of bills that could neuter Israel’s independent judiciary and impose further religious controls over Israeli society.

However, he fears he could face opposition to some of these laws from more moderate or liberal members of his own party.

To counteract this, he wants to use an expanded version of the Norwegian law that allows ministers to give up their positions as Knesset members in order to enable a different member of their party slate to take their spot in parliament, Haaretz reports.

The law currently allows up to one-third of the members of each Knesset faction to do so, and Netanyahu wants to increase this number.

In doing so, Netanyahu would be able to appoint recalcitrant MKs as ministers and deputy ministers, effectively promoting them out of the Knesset, with their places to be taken by Likud backbenchers eager to prove their loyalty to Netanyahu.

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