Outgoing PM Lapid accuses Netanyahu of trying to ‘crush’ democracy for personal gain

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid says that the override clause that incoming coalition parties are planning will “crush” Israeli democracy.

“It will crush the court. It will crush Israeli democracy,” Lapid says at the outset of his Yesh Atid party’s Monday faction meeting.

Lapid charges that the override clause — desired by all parties in the right-wing and religious coalition shaping up under Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu — is being particularly pursued for personal reasons.

Netanyahu is currently on trial for three corruption cases, and political partner Shas leader Aryeh Deri was convicted of tax fraud late last year. He will likely require fresh legislation to enable him to take up a ministerial portfolio, given his current suspended sentence.

“It’s all so that Netanyahu can cancel his trial and so Deri can cancel his moral turpitude.”

Deri didn’t receive a conviction with a designation of moral turpitude, which would have barred him from politics for seven years, because he resigned from the Knesset earlier this year as part of a pre-sentence plea deal.

However, his ability to serve as a government minister is almost certain to be challenged in court. The attorney general released an opinion on Sunday saying that the Central Elections Committee must decide on this matter.

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