While an official decision from Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita is only expected on Wednesday, 1 Cheshvan 5773, all media reports are signaling that the gadol hador will opt to reinstate Aryeh Deri to head the Shas party in the upcoming elections and Yishai, the current leader, will be offered the second slot.
It appears that Shas’ Ariel Atias, who is an ardent supporter of the Deri camp, has been working tenaciously behind the scenes and he apparently has persuaded the party’s rabbonim that it is in Shas’ best interests to reinstate Deri. This is in line with the polls, showing Shas emerging far more successful from the elections with Deri in the top slot.
Yishai reportedly made several attempts to speak with Rav Ovadia today, as well as working to persuade rabbonim from the party’s Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael. It appears that Rav Ovadia personally supports Yishai but the polls present a different picture, one less sympathetic to Shas.
In addition, Deri appears to have made his position clear, that he will not accept anything less than the leadership position and if this is not available, he will return to the political arena in another framework. This has the Shas rabbonim concerned for they are aware every vote for Deri as an independent will be at the expense of Shas.
Political analysts predict that if Yishai is indeed ousted he will not accept the second slot in the lineup but will prefer to resign from the party roster.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)