Breaking the deadlock: Likud MK proposes bill for direct elections of prime minister

A direct election for prime minister would not prevent an approaching third election but would prevent a fourth.

By World Israel News Staff

Likud MK Shlomo Karai is drafting a bill that would end the political deadlock in Israel by making it possible for voters to directly elect a prime minister, Yediot Ahronot reports on Monday.

Karai says he has the green light from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to proceed with the bill.

According to the plan, elections would take place in the same format they are today, but with a new condition added that if a coalition government can’t be formed and the Knesset dissolves, a direct election for prime minister will be held, preventing a possible fourth election.

The winner would receive parliamentary power amounting to an additional 10 percent. That would equal to 12 Knesset members that the victor could distribute among his coalition partners. Those Knesset members would serve until the next elections.

“The idea is that if we don’t succeed in realizing the unity that is the will of the voter,” Karai said, “then we return to the voters [so they can choose] which narrow government they prefer.”

The bill would require 61 Knesset votes, meaning that it would need the support of at least some opposition members.

This appears possible as last week New Right leader and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said his party would advance an amendment to the Basic Law to allow for direct prime ministerial elections. He said that the Blue and White party would support the amendment.

The Shas party, led by Aryeh Deri, was the first to bring up the idea of direct elections earlier this month.