Attached photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)
"The election law should be updated - it is important that everyone feels elections are fair and transparent and that everyone is invited to participate on an equal basis."
President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin Yesterday, Wednesday 25 September / 25 Elul, received the official election results for the 22nd Knesset from Chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Judge Hanan Melcer in an official ceremony at Beit HaNasi.
"Despite the short notice and the various pressures placed on the Central Elections Committee, you succeeded in holding elections that were free of interference and focused on the issues, without fear or favor. In the few cases where there were suspicions of tampering, the committee intervened in the most professional way to ensure that all rules and laws were observed and by law,” said the president, expressing his appreciation of the committee's work.
The president spoke about updates to election law, saying “The discussion around changes to supervision of elections came at the wrong time, with campaigns underway and at a time of heightened emotions. But as I said in the past, the election law should be updated to reflect changes that include technological developments. Laws that are out of date can be unfair, and since elections are a seminal moment for any democracy, it is important that everyone feels they are fair and transparent and that everyone is invited to participate on an equal basis. About two years ago, the public committee led by Judge Dorit Beinisch which I appointed to look at the election law presented its report. Now, after these second elections, and in the hope that there will be no further elections in the near future, we need to look at the committee's recommendations and see whether and how the law should be amended. That task will fall to the 22nd Knesset, and it should be undertaken with the patience and seriousness it deserves.”
The president thanked the members of the committee and its head Judge Melcer for their dedicated service for all Israeli citizens, and for "making themselves available for longer and unexpected service. A second general election system in less than six months could have led to a dangerous erosion of public confidence in the democratic process, but the figures you present today shows that the turn-out rate at these elections was even slightly higher than the previous elections. There is no doubt that you members of the committee play a key role in maintaining public confidence in our democratic institutions. This is a priceless contribution.”
Chairman of the Central Elections Committee, deputy president of the Supreme Court' Judge Hanan Meltzer: "The call for unity that is now in the air began in the Central Elections Committee. The committee, while it comprises representatives of all parties, rose above any ‘political considerations’ as I suggested, and worked together as one, opposition and coalition, with the common goal of fair and free elections.”
“The president created a precedent by coming to visit the Central Elections Committee on election,” he continued. “The visit was a sign of solidarity with our efforts, helping us to fend off attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the election process. The people also showed their faith in democracy and in the election process, seen in the increased turnout. I thank all 105,000 of the people – equivalent to an IDF division - who worked on election day, and the committee chairs who led the largest civil operation in Israel.”