Shas chairman Aryeh Deri estimated on Wednesday evening that Degel HaTorah and Agudat Yisrael, the two haredi factions which make up the United Torah Judaism Party, will not split and will run together in the current format despite the deep differences between them.
"I believe that Degel and Aguda will not take the risk of splitting up. The great rabbis will sit down and come to an agreement among themselves. My hope is that they will run together," said Deri in an interview with the haredi radio station Kol Barama.
In the interview he hinted that he might include an Ashkenazi representative in the Shas slate. "I receive hundreds of inquiries from people from the Ashkenazi community who tell me: You are the ones who represent me, we feel a part of you. That is why I think there is a place for an Ashkenazi representative within Shas, I am certainly looking for someone who is suitable for this position."
On the possibility of Benny Gantz forming a government, Deri said, "Gantz has no chance of forming a government. That's why I'm not interested in commenting on something that has no feasibility. The experiment of the chairman of a small party at the head of the government ended in failure."
Deri added, "There was indifference in the last election, according to the both polls and what we saw on the ground, but I am very optimistic. We need a strong Shas and for the Likud to find its strength and we are helping them in this matter."