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May 12, 2015 1:50 pm

Netanyahu Coalition Passes First Test as Knesset Votes to Expand Israeli Cabinet

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The Knesset voted in favor of an amendment that enables Netanyahu's new coalition government to have 20 cabinet ministers instead of 18. Photo: Facebook. – In a third and final reading, the Israeli Knesset narrowly passed, 61-59, a bill that amends Israeli law to enable Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition government to have 20 cabinet ministers instead of 18.

“The formation of the current government has proven that the coalition system in Israel makes it impossible to endure a limit of 18 ministers,” governing coalition chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said Tuesday, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“Such a limit harms the stability and flexibility required for governing,” he said.

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The bill is an amendment to Israel’s Basic Law and overturns a previous law enacted by the last government, which set a cap on the number of ministers.

Netanyahu now plans to meet with Likud party members and other parties to decide ministerial posts in the government, which is expected to be sworn in on Thursday.

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