Last Sunday, Minister Naftali Bennett and Minister Tzipi Livni met each other by chance and Bennett asked Livni: “What do you think about the initiative to abolish the presidency?”
Livni smiled and commented that following their joint initiative to reduce the number of Chief Rabbis from two to one, the next stage is to reduce the number of Presidents from one to none. “Why do we need this institution?” Bennett continued. Livni responded that she intends to look into the matter, and the two agreed to speak again about the matter and see how to proceed.
In Bennett’s office, they reported that he is intending to learn about the subject, and its ramifications, for example, if the role reduces the Prime Minister’s workload somewhat.
Livni’s bureau reported that they don’t know how the initiative will develop, and that there has not yet been a discussion on the subject. “She needs, first of all, to think about whether she wants to proceed with this, and to take advice from professional and political advisors. It also needs to be verified if it is at all realistic to pass such a major law before the forthcoming Presidential elections, or only after. We are talking about an earthquake if this becomes a reality.”
Even the Prime Minister is aware of the issue and “in the last year, the idea has been presented to him by a few senior parties,” admitted one of Netanyahu’s aides. “He has not discounted the idea, and it is possible that after Shimon Peres’ term, the time has come to abolish the presidency.”