In a widely anticipated but closely watched move, MK Meir Porush of the United Torah Judaism Party was unanimously selected Monday as his party's candidate for this year's Jerusalem mayoral race instead of Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, officials said. Porush was chosen as party's mayoral candidate by all 16 out of 24 party members present at the closed-door Monday evening vote, Porush spokesman Moshe Friedman said. The decision was in keeping with a pre-election agreement signed between the two factions which make up United Torah Judaism - Agudath Israel and Degel Hatorah - whereby Lupolianski would serve one term, and would then step down in favor of a candidate from the second faction. The 53-year-old father of 12 has been working in government for the last quarter-century, including the past 12 years in the Knesset, and 13 years in the Jerusalem Municipality. The veteran haredi lawmaker has served as deputy housing and construction minister and as a deputy mayor of Jerusalem, where his responsibilities included the portfolio for improving the city and haredi education. After getting the nod from his party, Porush will now face off against both Jerusalem opposition leader Nir Barkat and billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak in the November elections. Gaydamak has repeatedly insisted that he is, indeed, running, despite low polling numbers and the fact that his candidacy is seen as likely to split the non-haredi vote and pave the way for a Porush victory.