Israel Bill to limit PM’s term passes first reading

Banking & Finance

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli deputies Monday (Nov 22) approved a Bill to limit a prime minister’s term in office to eight consecutive years, in the first reading of proposed legislation criticised as “personal”.

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu served as premier for an Israeli record of 12 consecutive years before he was ousted in June by a multi-party coalition.

“Continuous power in the hands of a single person is bad for democracy,” Justice Minister Gideon Saar said before the vote on the Bill, which would need three readings to become law.

It was passed by 66 deputies in the 120-member Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.

But Ms Miri Regev, a member of the former premier’s right-wing Likud party, charged: “This law is a personal law aimed at preventing Netanyahu from returning to power.”

Netanyahu, who also served as premier between 1996 and 1999, has been charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, but he leads his rivals in opinion polls.