(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Likud MK Limor Livnat became the first Likud MK to call for internal elections after the party's overwhelming defeat in the national elections, in which they slipped from the 40 mandates that they'd won last time around to 12 in the new Knesset.
Livnat did not deny that she may run for the position of party chairman.
The call for internal elections comes after the Likud decided unanimously on Sunday to adopt MK Michael Eitan's proposal to form a commission of inquiry to investigate its fall from 40 seats to 12 in last Tuesday's election.
Eitan will present a list of committee members, none of whom will be current MKs, to the faction in upcoming days. Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu came under fire after the meeting from MKs who were upset that the issue of the party's electoral failure was limited to the last five minutes of a two-hour meeting.
"It's a bad joke that after such a colossal loss they are pretending like it's no big deal," said one participant in the meeting at the Likud's Tel Aviv headquarters. "Bibi is trying to brush off the inquiry as if it's an annoying obligation. We didn't discuss who the commission members will be, their mandate or timetable. They can sit for three years."
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said he favored the commission of inquiry because he wanted to know whether the party's downfall was connected to the disengagement plan, Netanyahu's economic policies or another reason.
"After every failure you have to see what brought us to this disaster so we can learn our lessons," Rivlin said. "Were people punishing us or deserting us? I think the people of Israel will return, but we have to find out why they deserted us."
The long awaited clash between Netanyahu and his number two, MK Silvan Shalom, did not happen in the meeting. Shalom decided not to say anything about the election, because so little time was allocated to the topic after two hours of deliberations about whom the Likud should support to form the next government.
Unlike Friday's Likud faction meeting, the MKs refrained from attacking each other. Participants said they learned their lessons from headlines after Friday's meeting in which MK Dan Naveh called MK Gilad Erdan a "little pisher
" and Shalom requested that Netanyahu's spokesman Ophir Akunis be removed from the room because he attacked Likud MKs on the radio while continuing to receive a salary from the party.