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Top court criticizes coalition over makeup of Knesset panels

Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut speaks during High Court of Justice deliberations on petitions against Benjamin Netanyahu being appointed prime minister, on May 3, 2020. (Screen capture)
Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut speaks during High Court of Justice deliberations on petitions against Benjamin Netanyahu being appointed prime minister, on May 3, 2020. (Screen capture)

The High Court of Justice urges the government to more equitably divide the Knesset’s committees between the coalition and opposition.

Addressing a petition by the opposition Likud and Shas parties, the court says that in the absence of agreements between the two sides, the coalition should see to “a more balanced makeup of the committees.”

Last month, the Knesset’s Arrangements Committee approved the makeup of the parliament’s 11 permanent committees without the opposition’s agreement. A week later, the Knesset House Committee approved the establishment of four new permanent committees. Opposition parties had complained they were not chairing any of the key Knesset committees.

The opposition has attempted to block the formation of the Knesset committees at every opportunity, in what is seen to be an effort to prevent debates on the state budget, which the government, sworn in in June, has until early November to pass.

The petition was filed by Likud MKs David Bitan, Miri Regev, Keti Shitrit and Fateen Mulla along with Shas lawmakers Moshe Arbel and Michael Malchieli. It didn’t come from the entire Likud party, many of whose members don’t believe the court should have a say in the Knesset’s work.

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