Saturday, January 28, 2023

Israeli Supreme Court orders sacking of cabinet minister

JERUSALEM ( Associated Press) – Israel’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must dismiss a key ally in the new cabinet, potentially sparking a coalition crisis and deepening a rift between the executive and judiciary. Is.

The high court ruled that Arya Deri, the influential head of the ultra-conservative Shas party who served in previous Netanyahu governments, is disqualified from holding the ministry after being convicted of tax fraud last year. Deri, who is on probation under a court settlement, vowed not to resign and met with Netanyahu after hearing the verdict.

“The majority of the judges on the panel ruled that the appointment was highly improper and that the Prime Minister should therefore remove Derry from office,” the court said in a statement.

Israel has been rocked by controversy over sweeping changes to the legal system. One proposal under study is to eliminate the court’s “reasonableness” test when reviewing government decisions.

Critics of the proposed changes say they would give too much power to the government and weaken the Supreme Court. The promoters say they will address the imbalance of power between the executive and the judiciary.

Netanyahu must decide whether to abide by the verdict and sack his key ally or escalate the dispute by dismissing the judiciary. Netanyahu’s spokesman did not comment.

But party chiefs in the ruling coalition described the ruling after the November 1 election as a slap in the face of voters. In a statement, he vowed to “correct the injustice and the serious damage done to democratic elections and the sovereignty of the people by any legal means within our power and without delay.”

Dr. Amir Fuchs, a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, said Netanyahu would hardly ignore the decision because in that case he would be in contempt and Supreme Court rulings are final.

“I am sure he will abide by the judgement. That doesn’t mean he will abide by the decision,” Fuchs said. “What will probably happen is they will very quickly pass a law that would allow them to reassign Derry.”

Nation World News Desk
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