The largest opposition party in the Knesset, Yesh Atid, on Wednesday submitted its candidate for next week’s vote to fill a spot on the Judicial Selection Committee.
MK Karine Elharrar is the sole nominee for the opposition slot, one of two openings on the committee that will be filled.
Earlier in the day, National Unity leader Benny Gantz announced his party would not be submitting a candidate for the position. Labor Party chief Merav Michaeli followed Gantz’s move by announcing the withdrawal of MK Efrat Rayten as a candidate.
According to Basic Law: The Judiciary (1984), the nine-member panel includes two Knesset members, chosen by the Knesset.
“In these days when democracy is under attack, the opposition stands together to defend the judicial system,” Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid said.
Elharrar stated, “As an opposition representative, I am committed to acting as a loyal ambassador for strengthening democratic values and the judicial system.”
The voting for the Knesset’s two representatives on the panel is scheduled to take place on June 15, as required by Israeli law. The parliament usually picks one member of the coalition and one member of the opposition, although it is not mandatory.
The committee has nine members. In addition to the two Knesset members, they are the justice minister, who serves as the chairperson, another Cabinet minister, two members of the Bar Association, the president of the Supreme Court Justice and two additional justices.
Justice Minister Yair Levin, a key architect of the coalition’s judicial reform program, on Wednesday once more criticized the process of selecting judges, saying that the current makeup of the committee is “inappropriate.”
“Many, many of the problems and injustices that we deal with come from the fact that our judicial system looks the way it looks, that the process of selecting judges is done in an inappropriate and unacceptable way—a committee with an unacceptable makeup, which is unsuitable and inappropriate in a democratic country,” Levin said from the Knesset rostrum.