Prime ministerial candidate Gideon Sa'ar criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday for signing a vote sharing agreement with the Religious Zionist Party of MK Bezalel Smotrich and Otzma Yehudit head Itamar Ben-Gvir in an interview with KAN Radio.
Sa'ar said signing the deal shows that Netanyahu "lost his shame and his limitations and would do anything to remain in power."
Earlier, Sa'ar's number two in his New Hope Party, MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, ruled out a coalition with Ben-Gvir.Earlier on Thursday, the Labor Party and Meretz signed a surplus vote sharing agreement.
Surplus-vote sharing agreements enable surplus votes for one party beyond what is needed for a mandate to move to another party and not be wasted. The method in calculating who gets the surplus votes is called the Bader-Ofer Law, after Gahal MK Yohanan Bader and Alignment MK Avraham Ofer – the forerunners of the Likud and Labor, respectively – who proposed it in 1973.
Yamina head Naftali Bennett and New Hope chairman Gideon Sa’ar signed a surplus-vote sharing agreement between their two parties on January 4. Hours later, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman signed a similar deal. The four parties conspired to make sure the Likud would have no party to sign a deal with that will definitely cross the 3.25% electoral threshold.
Deals were also struck between Likud and the Religious Zionist Party, Shas and United Torah Judaism, and Blue and White with the New Economy Party of former Finance Ministry accountant-general Yaron Zelekha.