Netanyahu seeks new rules on bank governor selection


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might change the process of selecting the Bank of Israel governor after two candidates stepped down last week.

Reportedly, Mr Netanyahu is considering including the Turkel Committee, an advisory committee on senior appointments, in the decision-making process.

The reform would require the candidates, once chosen by the prime minister and finance minister, to respond to a series of questions put together by the committee.

Last Friday, Bank Hapoalim economist Leo Leiderman withdrew his candidacy only days after he was nominated for the position. Three days earlier, Jacob Frenkel withdrew his bid to be the next governor after old allegations that he shoplifted at a duty-free shop in Hong Kong airport resurfaced.

At the time Mr Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid released a statement saying that Mr Frenkel’s withdrawal was a "direct result of an atmosphere of vilifying someone without giving him the right to defend himself."

They added that Mr Frenkel "could have brought great benefit to the Israeli economy amid the global financial crisis… in the atmosphere that exists today, we are not far from the day when no one will want to come near public life."

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