Likud's David Amsalem submits 'anti-Barkat' legislation

New law would restrict the amount candidates can contribute to their own political campaigns to NIS 100,00 per year.

Hezki Baruch ,

דודי אמסלם
דודי אמסלם
צילום: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

MK David Amsalem of the Likud party has renewed his attempts to pass legislation designed to limit the amount of money politicians may donate from their own private funds toward their political campaigns – legislation widely perceived as designed to harm his fellow party member and former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat.

The bill Amsalem is submitting would limit to NIS 100,000 the amount a candidate may designate from his own funds combined with those of close family members in order to fund his political activities.

During the term of the previous Knesset, a number of Knesset members from the Likud party introduced a similar law, but it failed to pass.

An official considered close to MK Barkat responded: “Instead of uniting with his fellow party members against the Bennett-Lapid government, David Amsalem is harming the Likud party with his attacks.”

A year ago, MKs Osnat Mark (Likud) and Sharren Haskel (then Likud, now New Hope) submitted a similar piece of legislation which gained the support of MK Yariv Levin (Likud), who stated: “A public representative must be funded solely by the money he is given as a public representative, in order to protect the principle of equality. Therefore, I advanced the Primaries Law (against campaign donations), and that is why the principle that this law is based on is correct.”

The preamble to the current legislative proposal reads: “To this day, the case of wealthy candidates who, via either their own or their relatives’ inexhaustible resources, attempt to exert control over political systems, has not been regulated in law … There are times when a wealthy person’s campaign prevents the campaigns of other worthy candidates from succeeding if they lack personal funding, which can lead to their being unable to represent the sectors they are part of … Therefore, it is proposed to establish a ceiling of NIS 100,000 per year which will be the maximum sum that a public representative and his family may jointly donate for political activity.”