Jerusalem Mayor Rabbi Uri Lupoliansky has announced he is honoring the United Torah Judaism rotation agreement and he will be stepping down, clearing the way for Agudas Yisrael mayoral candidate Rabbi Meir Porush. That said, aides to Lupoliansky indicate the polls clearly show that Porush will not and cannot defeat secular candidate Nir Barkat in the election, so if Shas candidate Rabbi Aryeh Deri is not permitted to run, Lupoliansky may enter the race, although it is unclear if he would run against Porush, or only enter the race if Porush steps down.
Aides to the incumbent mayor explain that the Porush campaign appears destined to fail and if Deri is not permitted to run, the mayor may opt to run for a second term since he is aware the Porush effort is a non-starter.
Undoubtedly this will only serve to increase the ongoing strife in UTJ, as the litvish Degel HaTorah faction and the chassidish Agudas Yisrael faction are at odds with one another regarding the upcoming national election.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)