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Israel passes law protecting prime minister from removal

  • Published
    24th Mar, 2023

Israeli lawmakers have passed legislation that drastically narrows the circumstances required to remove Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or a successor from office.

  • PM Netanyahu was facing corruption trial and claims of a conflict of interest surrounding his involvement in the legal changes.
  • The legal changes have split the nation between those who see the new policies as stripping Israel of its democratic ideals and those who think the country has been overrun by a liberal judiciary.
  • The government has plunged the 75 years old nation into one of its worst democratic crisis.

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, who was appointed by the previous government, asserted that the prime minister was unfit to govern.

What the law entails:

  • The legislation stipulates that a three-quarters majority in parliament or the Cabinet would be needed to remove a prime minister from office — and only for psychological or other health reasons.

The Office of Prime Minister in India:

  • Article 75 of the Indian Constitution mentions that a Prime Minister is one who is appointed by the President.
  • There is no specific procedure for his election or appointment.
  • Article 74(1) states that there shall be a Council of Ministers with a Prime Minister at the head to aid and advice the President.
    • Thus, the Indian Constitution itself recognizes a Council of Ministers.
  • Position of the Prime Minister (PM):
    • PM pre-eminence rests on his commanding position in the Cabinet, coupled with fact that he is the leader of the majority party.
    • All these positions of power when combined in one person make him rank much above an ordinary Minister.
    • The death or resignation of the Prime Minister automatically brings about the dissolution of the Council of Ministers. It generates a vacuum.
    • The demise, resignation or dismissal of a Minister creates only a vacancy which the Prime Minister may or may not like to fill.
    • The Government cannot function without a Prime Minister but the absence of a Minister can be easily compensated.
  • Removal of Prime minister:
    • The prime minister serves at 'the pleasure of the president’; hence, a prime minister may remain in office indefinitely, so long as the president has confidence in him/her.
    • However, a prime minister must have the confidence of Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India.
    • Hence, the term of a prime minister can end before the end of a Lok Sabha's term, if a simple majority of its members no longer have confidence in him/her, this is called a vote-of-no-confidence.
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