The talks at the president’s residence will be frozen until the June 16 vote on the makeup of the committee to appoint judges, Reshet Bet Radio reported Thursday morning. The opposition is waiting for the results of the vote to see if it has a representative on the committee. If this does not, the negotiations will blow up.
This is the list of candidates with their party affiliations:
Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid)
Tali Gottlieb (Likud)
Eli Dallal (Likud)
Nissim Vaturi (Likud)
Moshe Saada (Likud)
Moshe Passal (Likud)
Avichay Buaron (Likud)
Limor Sonn Har Melech (Otzma Yehudit)
Yitzhak Kroizer (Otzma Yehudit)
Uriel Busso (Shas)
Out of the ten candidates, 9 come from the coalition, and only one, Karin Elharar, is from the opposition, which means she is guaranteed the 46 votes of the Jewish opposition parties. No guarantees about the Arab votes.
Opposition officials told Reshet Bet that since coalition members submitted so many nominations, and considering the statements made by senior coalition members that they want two coalition representatives on the committee, none for the opposition, the talks must be suspended because a major part of the talks is whether or not to change the composition of the committee to appoint judges.
Meanwhile, Kan 11 revealed the draft of the president’s staff’s proposed agreements on judicial reform, and they appear to be to the left of the opposition. The draft proposes that the coalition will allow the appointment of an opposition representative to the committee for appointing judges, and will undertake not to pursue further judicial reform legislation in this Knesset session. As for the reform in the status of the various ministries’ legal counselors, a counselor will serve only 6 years, and candidates from outside the civil service will be able to be appointed as counselors.
Nothing about changing the impossible status of the Attorney General as the most powerful person in the country, able to both issue orders to the government and launch criminal investigations against ministers who won’t obey.
Here’s a fun tidbit: the Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, Yossi Shelley, was asked on Wednesday in a Reshet Bet interview whether the judicial reform was suspended, and he answered… wait for it… wait for it… “We need to stop talking about the reform, and discuss what’s happening with the Ashkelon oil pipeline, what’s happening with the port of Eilat. The reform will disappear anyway from conversations. Enough with this clatter.”
So, now you know.