Opposition Protests Budget Debate

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Parties sitting in the opposition joined forces to protest a Knesset debate on a biennial State budget, which means passing the budget every two years instead of annually as it is now.

Leaders of the six parties -- Kadima, Meretz, the three Arab parties and the National Union -- appealed to Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin to cancel the debate, admonishing him "to maintain the dignity of the Knesset as a legislative body and to prevent situations in which its members are subject to derision."

"This [proposal] is a very grave move, which harms the Knesset's dignity and even worse, harms the Knesset's image as a legislative branch," the opposition leaders stated in a letter that accused the government of planning to hijack the legal system by not allowing "Knesset members the opportunity to discuss the case levelheadedly."

The letter claimed that the proposed debate would turn "the Knesset into the government's 'rubber stamp,' …that all the government decides to do will be automatically approved by the Knesset, as if it were just a formality."

Rivlin rejected the petition on the basis that the Knesset's legal advisor had found no fault with the debate.

Meanwhile, the opposition's letter said they planned to conduct a separate debate on the budget and would call on senior officials of the Finance Ministry and the president of the Bank of Israel to testify.

Source: YNet news

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