Regional Councils Law (Date of General Elections) Special Amendment No. 6

Political Participation
Grants the Interior Minister absolute power to declare the postponement of the first election of a Regional Council following its establishment for an indefinite period of time. The law previously stipulated that elections must be held within four years.

The Knesset passed the law shortly before elections were due to take place to the Abu Basma Regional Council, which includes ten Arab Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev). The result of the law is that the current government-appointed council, comprised of a majority of Israeli Jewish members, remained in place.

On 27 April 2010, Adalah and ACRI petitioned the Supreme Court of Israel to demand the cancellation of the amendment and ask the court to order the Interior Minister to announce the holding of democratic elections in the regional council immediately. The organizations argued that the law represented a grave infringement of democratic values and a breach of the state’s duty to ensure regular transparent and democratic elections. At a hearing on the case held in February 2011, the Supreme Court ordered that elections to the Abu Basma Regional Council should be held no later than 4 December 2012.

However, in October 2012, the government split the Abu Basma Council into two separate councils, delaying elections once again.

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