Rav Ovadia with Aryeh Deri
Rav Ovadia with Aryeh Deri Israel news photo: Flash 90

Rav Ovadia Yosef may announce Tuesday that he intends to appoint Aryeh Deri as chairman of the Shas party, instead of Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

The charismatic Deri was Shas' chairman in the 90s but was found guilty of receiving bribes and other corruption and spent two years in jail. The legal "moral turpitude" that accompanied his conviction made it impossible for him to return to politics until recently.

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union), who heads the Knesset Lobby for Elimination Corruption, said that "Deri's return to the leadership of Shas is legal and apparently glatt kosher, too, but it smells bad and stains the entire political system with moral turpitude."

"It is too bad that Deri and Hanegbi are not forming a united party," he added, in a sarcastic reference to Tzachi Hanegbi of Kadima and Likud, who was also convicted of corruption with moral turpitude, and who is also on his way back to politics.

"The public is asked not to allow criminals to return to the scene of their crimes," Eldad said.

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