Likud denies report it is laying groundwork to appoint Deri as alternate PM

Shas leader Aryeh Deri at the Knesset on December 13, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)
Shas leader Aryeh Deri at the Knesset on December 13, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

The Likud party denies a report on the Kan public broadcaster this evening that it is laying the groundwork to appoint Shas chair Aryeh Deri as alternate prime minister if his attempt to become a minister is struck down by the court.

Deri, who previously was convicted and sentenced to prison for bribery, struck a deal last year for tax offenses that saw him resign from the Knesset and avoid a charge of “breach of trust.” That deal has thrown his ability to become a minister in the next government into legal question, and Likud chair Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly concerned the High Court could attempt to bar him from doing so.

According to Kan, Netanyahu has been exploring the possibility of instead appointing Deri as alternate prime minister, since court precedent bans those convicted of breach of trust from becoming cabinet ministers, but not prime minister — or alternate prime minister, which is a largely ceremonial position.

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