The Likud party won fewer seats in the last election because of the union with MK Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu, said Interior Minister Gideon Saar on Saturday.
Saar, who was interviewed on Channel 10, implicitly criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other officials in the Likud for the results of the election, which left the Likud with 31 seats, of which 11 are Yisrael Beytenu members.
"Every Likud member knows what conditions the party faced in the last election, and what are the reasons over which we failed in the election,” he said.
“For example, almost every person I speak to says that the union with Yisrael Beytenu cost us fewer seats," said Saar.
Saar responded to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who has indicated that, as the chair of the Likud secretariat, he will appoint a committee to look into the conduct of the party during the election campaign. Saar and Minister Gilad Erdan were in charge of the Likud’s election campaign.
"Erdan and Saar were behind the union [with Yisrael Beytenu]? That’s not the truth,” said Saar, adding, "I'm not concerned about an investigation and I'm all for investigating and learning lessons. Any objective evaluation will express appreciation for my conduct during the campaign. If it’s an investigation whose goals are marked before it starts, then it’s not an investigation, it’s vendetta.”
Saar denied the rumors that he intends to retire from politics, saying, "This is something that many people would like to see but it will not happen. I am experienced in having rumors being spread about me. I have no idea who is spreading these rumors, but I am staying in public life. I want to carry out reforms. This week, for example, I’m interested in passing the second and third readings of the bill to extend summer time.”