Barak to Fire Six Rebel Ministers

Published June 8th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced Wednesday night that the cabinet would convene soon to remove the six ministers who voted in the Knesset in favor of holding early elections, reported the Jerusalem Post.  

Barak was quoted as saying in a television interview that "under the transition law, the ministers who voted for an early national ballot had ostensibly fired themselves." 

The cabinet decided Tuesday night to apply a clause of the law that gives the prime minister the right to dismiss ministers who vote against the government, the daily said.  

In a 61-48 vote, three coalition partners - Shas, Yisrael Ba'aliya, and the National Religious Party - supported a preliminary reading of a bill to dissolve the 15th Knesset.  

Two other dissolution bills passed with similar results.  

According to the daily, the ministers Barak is threatening to drop are labor and social affairs minister, Eli Yishai, health minister, Shlomo Benizri, national infrastructure minister, Eliahu Suissa, and religious affairs minister, Yitzhak Cohen, housing minister, Yitzhak Levy, and interior minister Natan Sharansky.  

"Formally, a cabinet session is required and the meeting will be convened to take the necessary decisions," Barak was quoted as saying.  

Such a move would reduce the number of cabinet ministers from 22 to 16.  

"In the coming days, we will have a government either with a different composition or with a similar composition, but which will act in a more uniform manner," Barak vowed.  

Barak also left open the possibility that, before the cabinet convenes - "probably on Sunday" - negotiations with the largest coalition partner to revolt yesterday, Shas, could produce results, the daily added.  

"I am not closing the door on Shas. It remains open," Barak was quoted as saying - 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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