(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Supreme Court looks to deliberate and perhaps rule Tuesday on a petition by the Movement for Quality Government to prevent Shas chairman Arye Deri from retaining his title as interior minister.
Deri was forced to leave the Interior Ministry the last time he held the portfolio, due to a corruption investigation that led to his conviction on bribery charges. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed him to the post last month.
“It is unreasonable to return Deri to the ministry where he committed crimes and instituted a sick system of using local authorities as pipelines of money,” the movement’s lawyers wrote.
The lawyers will ask the court to cancel the appointment, because they believe it will discourage the public from having faith in their public officials.
It was unclear Monday night how long it would take to issue a ruling. Sources close to the prime minister said further political appointments have been put on hold pending a ruling on Deri’s case.
Netanyahu is expected to appoint Tourism Minister Yariv Levin as economy minister, replacing Deri, who replaced resigned Likud minister Silvan Shalom. Coalition chairman Tzachi Hanegbi is expected to replace Levin.
But it is still possible that Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev will be promoted instead of Levin. Regev was seen whispering into Netanyahu’s ear in the Knesset plenum Monday.