Shas’ Deri reinstated as party head

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Aryeh Deri, who resigned as head of the Sephardi haredi Orthodox Shas Party 13 years ago, has been reinstated by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, according to reports.

Deri would take the party chairmanship from Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who has served in the top party position for more than a decade.

Yishai reportedly has been promised the most senior ministerial position should Shas join the next government.

Deri, who decided to reenter politics a few weeks ago, had threatened to start his own party if he were not permitted to retake the chairmanship of the party.

Deri was indicted in 1993 for accepting bribes and was sentenced in 2000 to three years in prison. Under the conviction, he was barred from public service in the political arena for seven years.

Yosef, Shas’ spiritual leader, said at the time of the conviction that the party’s leadership would be given to Yishai until Deri’s return.

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