Israel’s speaker quits over vote order

Israel’s parliamentary speaker, Yuli Edelstein, has quit rather that comply with a court order to convene a vote on his replacement.

Israel’s speaker has resigned after seven years on the job rather than comply with a Supreme Court order to convene a vote on his replacement.

Yuli Edelstein had suspended parliamentary activities last week, citing procedural issues and restrictions on large gatherings due to the spread of the coronavirus.

But opponents accused him of blocking a vote after his right-wing bloc failed to win a majority in March 2 elections.

He dismissed a Supreme Court call to explain his delay in convening the Israeli Knesset and that sparked an unprecedented judicial rebuttal, with the Supreme Court chief justice ordering him to hold a vote.

With other top members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party urging him to defy the order, he responded that he would “not agree to an ultimatum” and resigned instead.

“The Supreme Court decision destroys the work of the Knesset. The Supreme Court decision marks a harsh and arrogant intervention of the judicial branch in the affairs of the elected legislative branch,” Edelstein charged in his last appearance as speaker.

Read the article in the Mercury (AP).