World Israel takes step toward emergency government as Gantz is elected parliament speaker
Israel Parliament Speaker Quits to Defy Court, Helping Netanyahu
Israel’s parliament speaker resigned on Wednesday in an act of defiance that could hamper Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief rival, after the High Court ordered a vote that may replace him as the chamber’s head. © ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images Israeli parliament (Knesset) speaker Yuli Edelstein gestures prior to attend a session of Questions to the government at the French National Assembly in Paris, on May 16, 2018, as part of his state visit to France.
JERUSALEM —Israeli lawmakers took what could be a significant step Thursday toward forming an emergency government and ending the country's year-long political deadlock by electing opposition leader Benny Gantz as speaker of parliament.
The unexpected development looks to beto form a unity government as Israel battles the coronavirus pandemic. Under the deal, Netanyahu could remain prime minister for now.
Israeli Supreme Court to rule on demand to reopen parliament
JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political opponents on Sunday asked Israel's Supreme Court to force parliament to resume its full activities, despite restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Parliament Speaker Yuli Edelstein, a member of Netanyahu's ruling Likud party, last week suspended parliamentary activities, preventing the newly elected legislature from choosing a new speaker and forming committees. Edelstein says the move is merely procedural given the state of emergency in the country and the health ministry guidelines prohibiting large public gatherings.
The sudden turn of events prompted the breakup of Gantz’s Blue and White party. Two of the three factions comprising that party have consistently said they will not join a governing coalition or participate in a political scenario that allows Netanyahu to remain in office while he faces criminal indictment. Netanyahu was formally charged in November in three criminal cases involving allegations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Gantz lost support from some members of his own faction, as well as a group of Arab Israeli Knesset parliamentarians who had been willing to back him for prime minister. But he won the speaker’s job with the votes of lawmakers from Netanyahu’s Likud party.
Kosovo eyes early elections after government voted down
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo’s government fell Wednesday after only 50 days in power, losing a no-confidence vote initiated by the junior governing coalition partner following disagreements with the prime minister, a move that could take the country to early elections. A 12-hour long debate on the no-confidence vote culminated in a vote of 82 in favor, 32 against and one abstention. The government will continue in a caretaker role. PrimeA 12-hour long debate on the no-confidence vote culminated in a vote of 82 in favor, 32 against and one abstention. The government will continue in a caretaker role.
Israeli politicians are still trying to straighten out the political situation after an unprecedented third general election was held on March 2. In that vote, neither Netanyahu’s Likud party and its right-wing, religious bloc of parties nor Gantz’s Blue and White, together with a mix of opposition parties, had the 61 seats, out of a possible 120, to form a governing coalition.
Last week, even asfrom a slim majority of lawmakers to be given the mandate to form the next government, it was unclear how he would cobble together a coalition from four very diverse parties.
Still, Gantz and his backers succeeded in reviving the parliament, or Knesset, despite resistance from the right-wing bloc, filing a legal petition in Israel’s Supreme Court that demanded the creation of four key parliamentary panels to oversee the government’s work and a vote that would replace Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who is a member of Likud.
Israel reports first coronavirus fatality
Israel reports first coronavirus fatalityThe Health Ministry said in a statement he had been brought to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem about a week ago in serious condition.
On Wednesday,saying that he would not allow the courts to have such a great hand in the workings of the legislature. He refused to table the vote for a replacement candidate agreed upon by the opposition factions.
As Israel moved to emergency footing on Wednesday, tightening restrictions on public movement amid the coronavirus outbreak, it was reported that Netanyahu and Gantz had spoken by phone and that their negotiating teams met Thursday.
Jason Pearlman, a communications strategist who has worked with several right-wing politicians, said, “I think this offers an American model of the legislature providing a check and balance on the executive for an emergency period, which could then become a unity government in the coming weeks and months.”
Pelosi urges Trump to tap emergency war powers immediately .
Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on President Trump to use emergency war powers he invoked just a day earlier to immediately press industry to accelerate production of medical supplies."Right now, shortages of critical medical and personal protective equipment are harming our ability to fight the coronavirus epidemic, endangering frontline workers and making it harder to care for those who fall ill," Pelosi said in a statement.