After being ousted by Aryeh Deri as Shas party leader, many believe that MK Eli Yishai will be looking at the upcoming Jerusalem mayoral race, where many feel he has a much better chance against the incumbent than Aryeh Deri would have.
Yishai announced plans to take a “short vacation” after Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita officially appointed Deri as Shas leader. It is clear that Yishai is uninterested in assuming the leadership mantle of Shas’ ailing Mayan HaChinuch education network, and many believe that Yishai will enter the Jerusalem mayoral race and run against Mayor Nir Barkat.
Of course such an announcement is premature, and Shas askanim will have to probe and see if Yishai would be ‘the’ chareidi candidate or if Degel Hatorah and/or Agudas Yisrael would run someone against him. If he would be the only chareidi candidate, he is likely to announce his candidacy.
Former Jerusalem Mayor Rabbi Uri Lupoliansky of Degel Hatorah has also signaled an interest in running again so it is too soon to determine who and how many chareidi candidates will compete in the race. What is certain is that the lack of achdus in the chareidi camp during the last Jerusalem mayoral race resulted in Meir Porush losing to Nir Barkat.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)