Israeli parliament votes to expand number of ministers

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JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's parliament has approved a contentious legislation that expands the number of government ministers — clearing the way for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government to take office.

Wednesday's vote rolled back reforms made by the previous government that limited the number of ministers to 18. Proponents said the reform cut wasteful spending.

But under pressure from his new coalition partners, Netanyahu agreed to expand the size of his Cabinet again. With just a slim majority in parliament, he is facing pressure from many of his partners to reward them with ministerial jobs.

The bill passed by a narrow 61-59 margin in the 120-seat legislature.

Netanyahu is now expected to appoint his new Cabinet, with the government to be sworn into office in the coming days.

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