A bill to dissolve the 22nd Knesset was presented to the Knesset today. After a coalition failed to emerge during the allotted 21-day period, the Knesset intends to change the bill so that the election will be held on March 2, instead of after 90 days. The bill was presented as private member's bill by MK Avi Nissenkorn (Blue and White), MK Meir Cohen (Blue and White), Zvi Hauser (Blue and White), Miki Zohar (Likud), and Shlomo Karhi (Likud). The bill requires a majority of 61 on each of its three readings, and the Knesset will begin working on the bill tonight.
In the section on funding for the election campaign, the MKs inserted a number of provisions that will enable them to obtain funding for the elections, after all of the political parties took loans last year and have not yet begun to repay them, while their money is running out.
"Given the fact that three elections are being held in less than a year, the political parties are facing obvious difficulties in managing the public resources allotted to them by law, because the funds are allocated under the assumption of longer periods between one election and the next," the explanation of the bill states. "It is therefore proposed to adapt the rules for calculation of the election expenses, the advances, and the loans given to the Knesset factions on account of financing for regular expenses, given the special circumstances that have emerged. It is also proposed to make it easier for lists of candidates without representation in the outgoing Knesset to obtain funding for expenses."
What this means is that the loans taken by all of the factions in the 21st Knesset and the 22nd Knesset, which they have yet begun to repay, will not prevent the political parties from receiving state funding.
Furthermore, the MKs have increased the funding. Instead of NIS 1.38 per Knesset seat, it will be increased to NIS 1.8 million per Knesset seat. "The increase in this supplement is designed to disproportionately benefit the small factions, because they face greater liquidity problems," the explanation to the bill states.
As for the loans taken by the factions, the existing law requires the factions to use funding received by the factions for regular expenses during the Knesset session in order to repay the loans. "Dissolution of the 21st and 22nd Knesset shortly after they were elected prevented the factions from repaying the loans they took at the beginning of the Knesset sessions during those sessions. Without the proposed amendment, the full amount of the loans taken by the factions will be deducted from the advances to which they are entitled to receive, leaving the factions inadequate resources for the upcoming election campaign," the bill's explanation argues.
The Knesset dissolution bill therefore states that each faction that took a loan to pay for the election campaign for the 22nd Knesset and has not yet begun to repay it will not have the loan deducted from its advance funding for the election campaign.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 10, 2019
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