Aryeh Deri may not have been placed in the top spot of the Shas party’s list for the next Knesset, but he’s not completely without power.
The list submitted to Knesset officials has Eli Yishai as the top name, but prior to the list being submitted on Thursday evening, Yishai signed a letter notifying Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin that he is transferring some of his powers as party chairman to Deri.
The move does not grant Deri much control over Shas, but doe give him some of the powers held by Yishai as part of the shared leadership of the party.
Yishai, who has led the party for most of the past decade, was instructed by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to share the leadership with the wildly popular Aryeh Deri and Ariel Atias, who served as Housing Minister in the outgoing government.
Deri, who in the past has led the party and held the post of Interior Minister, is seen by many in Yishai's camp as an interloper who, after spending time in prison on corruption charges, is trying to take over Shas, after Yishai worked hard to ensure the party's electoral successes in the past several elections
Besides Yishai and Deri, the Shas list submitted to the Central Elections Committee on Thursday evening contains almost no changes compared to previous elections: Atias was placed in the third spot and is followed by Yitzchak Cohen, Meshulam Nahari, Amnon Cohen, Yakov Margi, David Azoulay, Yitzhak Vaknin and Nissim Zeev.
The only change between this list and previous lists is that MK Rabbi Chaim Amsallem broke off from Shas several months ago and will be running to the Knesset in a separate party, Am Shalem.