Friday December 01, 2023

Netanyahu ally resigns as speaker of parliament

March 26, 2020

JERUSALEM: Israel’s parliamentary speaker, an ally of Benjamin Netanyahu, resigned Wednesday, clearing the way for a vote that could see him replaced by an opponent of the embattled premier.

Yuli Edelstein, a member of Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, had refused to schedule a speakership vote until a new government was formed, but stood down after the Supreme Court set a Wednesday deadline for the vote to take place. “The High Court ruling constitutes crude and arrogant intervention of the judiciary in the matters of the elected legislature,” Edelstein said. “I won’t allow Israel to descend into anarchy. I won’t lend a hand to civil war,” he said as the court’s deadline approached. “I hereby resign from my position as Knesset speaker. The announcement could pave the way for the opposition, led by the centrist Blue and White party, to take control of the legislative agenda. It also came after a year of political turmoil that has seen three inconclusive elections, and after Netanyahu imposed strict legal and security measures to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected more than 2,000 Israelis. Anti-Netanyahu forces claimed 62 seats in the 120-member Knesset in the March 2 election, with the premier’s right-wing party and its religious allies claiming 58. Blue and White’s leader Benny Gantz has been tasked with trying to form a government.