The Movement for Quality Government in Israel filed a petition with the High Court of Justice Tuesday arguing that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should not be allowed to form the next government as he faces trial on criminal charges.
“A person accused of criminal charges, in particular serious charges such as bribery, fraud and breach of trust, cannot be seen as fit to take upon himself the role of forming a government,” the group said in a statement.
It accused the prime minister of having spent the past few years “launching direct and harmful attacks against the components of Israeli democracy” and engaging “in a methodical and premeditated process of delegitimization of law enforcement authorities and their executive bodies — from the police, through to the State Attorney’s Office, the attorney general, the Knesset legal adviser, the courts and judges.”
The petition followed Netanyahu’s apparent election triumph. With 90 percent of the vote counted, his Likud party leads Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White by 36 seats to 32, and the right-wing bloc has 59 seats out of 61 needed to form a government.