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Israel: Criteria for Membership in Central Election Committee

(Dec. 28, 2012) On November 5, 2012, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Knesset Election Law (Amendment No. 60), 5773-2012 (the Amendment). The Amendment sets criteria for admission of individual members to the Central Election Committee (CEC).

According to the Knesset Election Law [Consolidated Version] 5729-1969, the CEC is responsible for the conduct of elections. The CEC is established within 60 days after the date on which each new Knesset convenes and serves until the establishment of a new Committee. The CEC is composed of 30 members who are selected from candidate lists submitted by political parties based on a formula that takes into account the parties’ proportional sizes in the Knesset. The CEC is chaired by a justice of the Supreme Court who is selected for this position by justices of that Court upon the request of the Knesset Chairperson within 60 days after the convening of the Knesset.

The Amendment authorizes the CEC Chairperson to determine who among those providing services to the CEC should undergo a criminal background check based on the type of service, work, or duties they perform. The Amendment further authorizes the Chairperson to prohibit the employment of or receipt of any service from a person whom the Chairperson considers unfit based on his/her conviction for an offense, considering that offense’s nature, seriousness, or relevant circumstances. (Knesset Election Law [Consolidated Version] 5729-1969, 23 LAWS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL 110 (5729-1968/69); Knesset Election Law (Amendment No. 60), 5773-2012, Knesset website (last visited Dec. 27, 2012).)