total vote, absolute majority, system of proportional representation, new elections, Basic Laws
The legislature, or Knesset, is a single-chambered body of 120 members serving a term of four years. As the supreme authority in the state, the Knessetís main functions include votes of confidence or no confidence in the government, legislation, participation in formulating national policy, approval of budgets and taxes, election of the president, and general supervision of the administrationís activities. The cabinet presents most legislation, although Knesset committees and individual members can initiate bills. Passage of any legislation requires a simple majority of the members present at the vote. An absolute majority is required for the election of the president and for changes in the system of proportional representation and the Basic Laws.
Elections are nationwide with the entire country as a single constituency. Citizens vote not for individual candidates but for political parties, which prepare ranked lists of their candidates. Knesset seats are assigned in proportion to each partyís percentage of the total vote; parties must receive at least 1.5 percent to gain a seat. The Knesset may dissolve itself and call for new elections before completion of its term.
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