Knesset Candidates Being Disqualified for Cynical and Political Purposes

Photo CC by Ze'ev ZamirPhoto CC by Ze'ev Zamir

 

 

ACRI has called to immediately remove the power to disqualify Knesset candidates and political parties from politicians. On Tuesday, February 17, the Supreme Court will consider the disqualification of MK Hanin Zoabi and Baruch Marzel from running for Knesset.

 

 

According to ACRI Chief Legal Counsel Dan Yakir: “Based on the basic principle of allowing all population groups to seek representation in the Knesset, the unusual step of disqualifying candidates should be done only in the most extreme and exceptional circumstances. Despite this, the Central Elections Committee has transformed the disqualification mechanism into a propaganda tool that does not consider any relevant considerations.”

 

“The remarks made in the past by MK Zoabi may be outrageous, but they do not constitute grounds for her disqualification from the Knesset. Indeed, even the Attorney General opposed her disqualification. As a public official elected to represent a national minority whose voice is often muted, it is of particular importance that MK Zoabi be allowed to express herself and seek election without fear of retribution for her views.”

 

“The circumstances of the disqualification of Baruch Marzel are equally problematic. Here too, the Attorney General express a position that there was insufficient evidence to justify his disqualification. The public and political discourse in Israel has been saturated with racist expressions. The disqualification of Marzel on the grounds of racism sends a deceptive message that condones and legitimizes the other racist statements expressed by Israeli politicians.”

 

Additional Information

ACRI legal intervention in 2013 to protect MK Zoabi’s parliamentary rights.

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Categories: Anti-Democratic Initiatives, Democracy and Civil Liberties, Freedom of Expression

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