MK Nir Barkat (Likud), who received a promise to be appointed Minister of Finance, found himself outside the government and remains a regular Knesset Member.
In an interview with Channel 12 News on Thursday, Barkat said he is still interested in a senior position. "if the Prime Minister decides, as he asked me to be Finance Minister, I would gladly take up the position, or alternatively another senior portfolio.”
"I spoke to him about other alternatives as well - but it was clear to me that I did not want to take a minor position. Instead of a minor portfolio, I prefer to sit as an ordinary Knesset Member.”
Barkat acknowledged he is unhappy with the size of the new government. "I'm not comfortable with it, I don't think that's the right thing. I think that the right thing to do, if you’re going for a unity government, is that other people should make concessions and there will be fewer ministries and we can run the state and the government better. But I'm part of a coalition, I've come to terms with it, and I'll do what I can do from the benches of the MKs.”
"I think my relationship with the Prime Minister is very good," Barkat said. "We will continue to work together, we agreed on holding a monthly meeting from now on, and I have no doubt that he likes to hear my ideas."
Barkat is loyal to the Prime Minister and fully supports him. In the future, he plans to run for the leadership of the Likud. "I will know how to stand forward, run and win, both within the Likud, and ultimately, God willing, if I get the trust of the public to lead the country, as Prime Minister as well."