Middle east

Knesset Advances Bill Limiting Prime Minister’s Time in Office

The bill advanced despite opposition from the conservative alliance Yamina.

The Knesset’s Arrangements Committee has advanced bills that would prevent an Israeli prime minister with an indictment from forming a government and limit a PM’s time in office to eight years.

The bills could be raised in the Knesset plenum next week.

The moves clearly target Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been PM since 2009. He also held the position from from 1996 to 1999.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures while standing near a voting booth as he prepares to cast his ballot in Israel's general election, at a polling station in Jerusalem March 23, 2021

Netanyahu has also been the subject of multiple corruption investigations, including over claims that he received expensive gifts from various businessmen, advanced a law that would benefit one of Israel’s major newspapers, and supported looser regulation of the telecommunication company Bezeq in return for positive coverage. He has denied all the accusations.

Last month, Netanyahu’s corruption trial resumed at the Jerusalem District Court after he pleaded not guilty to all charges brought against him during a previous hearing held on 8 February.

The court proceedings are expected to take years to wrap up, but if convicted, Netanyahu could face up to 10 years in prison for bribery and up to three years for fraud and breach of trust.

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