Ramping-up for parliamentary elections, the Shas party on Sunday announced the division of roles within its newly formed triumvirate: Recently returned former party leader Aryeh Deri will chair the party headquarters; Interior Minister Eli Yishai will be the chairman of the election-day headquarters; and Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Attias will chair the party’s propaganda arm.
Shas effectively abolished the role of the party chairman last week in a bid to avoid competition between the troika of prominent party leaders.
Last week, Deri and Yishai reached an agreement that neither one will serve as party chairman, but that Yishai will take the No. 1 slot on the Shas party list.
Deri will control the budget of the party’s school system and kashrut certification authority, and Yishai will act as the senior Shas minister, Israel Radio reported on Thursday.
Deri headed the party until he was convicted in 1999 of accepting $155,000 in bribes while running the Interior Ministry and as interior minister, and served 22 months in prison. After years of speculation, he recently indicated his intent to reclaim the leadership of Shas, a move that Yishai opposed.
On Saturday, Shas party spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef welcomed Deri back to the fold and called the party’s three-pronged leadership a “triple-bond that won’t be severed soon.”
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