Less than a week before the Jerusalem mayoral election, former Shas leader Aryeh Deri is planning to campaign for haredi candidate MK Meir Porush of the United Torah Judaism Party. The move came nearly a month after a Jerusalem court ruled that Deri could not run in the November 11 election due to his past criminal convictions. The two men, who met on Wednesday, had previously been at loggerheads over Deri's desire to participate in the race. The tête-á-tête came after Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef announced his support for Porush, who has continued to poll a distant second in the race. Deri is expected to work on Porush's behalf with the secular and traditional public in Jerusalem, who, public opinion polls show, predominantly support secular front-runner and Jerusalem opposition leader Nir Barkat in the race. Porush spokesman Moshe Friedman said Wednesday they were happy to receive any help and support, and welcomed Deri's assistance. He added that how exactly Deri would help Porush remained to be determined. Porush has faced one of his most difficult and damaging weeks in the campaign among the non-haredi public, since he was taped telling a haredi-only crowd of supporters that within a decade there would be no secular mayors in Israeli cities. Meanwhile, hundreds of city residents have received letters from Porush with the Knesset's logo, asking for their support in the race.

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