The vote was postponed after an MK tested positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday.
An empty Knesset Plenum
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The controversial Norwegian Law will not be brought to a final vote in the Knesset plenum this week, because an MK tested positive for Covid-19 last Wednesday, MKs said at Sunday’s meeting of the Knesset Law, Constitution and Justice Committee.
What the MKs said has not yet been confirmed by Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin or Director-General Albert Saharovich. In a statement issued late Saturday night, they only said that the proceedings of the Knesset would be scaled back, due to the illness of Joint List MK Sama Abu Shehadeh and the chances that he spread the virus to other MKs.
Shehadeh’s office at the Knesset and the Joint List’s faction meeting were closed off on Sunday to be disinfected. They are not expected to reopen this week.
Yisrael Beytenu MK Eli Avidar proposed having Magen David Adom open a coronavirus testing station at the Knesset that would offer MKs quick results within two hours.
“It is forbidden to stop the work of the Knesset,” Avidar told the committee.
The committee voted on hundreds of amendments proposed by opposition MKs on Sunday, but some seven thousand amendments remain. Negotiations took place regarding making slight changes in the bill in return for proposed amendments being withdrawn.
Some of the MKs spoke to the committee by video conference. But they were not allowed to vote without being present.
Blue and White desperately wants to pass the bill, because out of its 15 MKs, 12 are ministers.
It would enable five ministers in Blue and White and two in other coalition parties to quit the Knesset and be replaced by the next candidates on each party’s list. If the ministers quit the cabinet, they could return to the Knesset at the expense of the new MKs.
New MKs in factions that have split would have 24 hours to decide which one to join. The bill could allow candidates of Yesh Atid and Telem, which are in the opposition, to instead join Blue and White in the coalition.
The bill will have to pass two more readings in the Knesset Law, Constitution and Justice Committee and the plenum before it becomes law.