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Is Netanyahu plotting early elections?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is confident that if he announces early elections, he would win another mandate.

The Israeli political arena has been in uproar for a while now over a bill proposal advanced by Likud member David Amsalem to grant immunity to sitting prime ministers, protecting them from police investigations and indictment while serving. On the night of Oct. 28, senior Likud ministers were shocked to hear media reports that David Bitan, chairman of the governing coalition, is planning to put Amsalem's proposed legislation, the so-called French Law, to a vote in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. He made his decision despite an agreement reached a few days earlier to put the proposed legislation on hold. Apparently, the goal in passing it would be to afford Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a chance to avoid criminal investigations if he is elected to another term. If passed, the French Law, nicknamed after a similar provision in France, would not cover the current term.

HaBayit HaYehudi has already expressed its opposition to the bill. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, chairman of Kulanu, announced that he would allow his Knesset members to vote according to their conscience. Meanwhile, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has issued a statement saying the proposed legislation would be a blow to the rule of law. It would therefore have appeared that the French Law was dead and buried.

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