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Liberman: We oppose cameras bill designed to steal election

Yisrael Beytenu leader MK Avigdor Liberman declared on Monday morning that his party would not support the so-called cameras bill advocated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud, meaning it will not have a majority to pass in the Knesset.

Liberman described the bill as an attempt by Netanyahu to “steal the elections,” and claimed that it was a smokescreen to deflect from security issues with Gaza an other problems the government has faced.

The legislation would allow election observers to bring video cameras into polling stations purportedly to stop ballot stuffing and other election fraud, but opponents have alleged that the purpose is to depress turnout in the Arab sector and have also questioned the timing less than ten days before the election.

The Yisrael Beytenu leader said his party would only support the bill if the Likud adopted a change to the text of the legislation stipulating that the Central Elections Committee be the body to send representatives with cameras to polling stations, not party-appointed election observers.

The Likud party is unlikely to accept this change.

“Yisrael Beytenu is in favor of supervising the elections, but only through a state body,” said Liberman at a press conference in the Knesset Monday morning.

“This [current] bill is being advanced only to disrupt the elections. Supervision of the elections cannot be carried out by Netanyahu’s private militia who are only interested in stoping the smooth running of the elections and to harm the results.

“If they want to supervise elections we are in favor, if they want to steal the elections then we are opposed.”

Likud MK Miki Zohar who introduced the bill into the Knesset responded: “After Liberman raised the electoral threshold and brought the Arab parties to unite, and after he united them again following the dispersal of the Knesset [in May], which was his fault, now he clarifies that he will vote against the cameras bill and once again increase the Joint List’s power.

“Is that the Right?” Zohar asked.

Blue and White co-chairman Benny Gantz welcomed Liberman’s opposition to the bill describing the legislation as “Netanyahu’s bluff to cover up Israel’s loss of deterrence in the south,” which he said would not work anyway.

“The only fraudster in the political system is Netanyahu,” said Gantz.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

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