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Rebel MK Chikli challenges Yamina ouster in court

Renegade Yamina MK Amichai Chikli has filed an appeal against his party’s attempts to punish him for breaking with the coalition on key matters.

Chikli claims in Jerusalem District Court that the party’s declaration of him as a defector — stripping him of key campaign finance provisions and hamstringing him the next time there are elections — goes beyond its powers, asking whether the architects of Israel’s democracy intended for party leaders to have a stranglehold on their members.

“Are Knesset members entitled to vote in the Knesset according to their opinion, belief, conscience, party platform and promise to their electorate, or are they merely puppets operated by their faction leaders,” Chikli writes in the appeal.

“Did the legislature intend to give the faction leaders such a dramatic sanction against the members of their faction in order to impose factional discipline?”

He also alleges that the Knesset House Committee that okayed his punishment was “guided by political considerations only,” making its decision a foregone conclusion.

He also argues that under the rules for declaring a rebel MK, the lawmaker must have received something in return for supporting a vote of no confidence in the government — which, he claims, was not his case.

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