High Court: Kobi to Serve as Mayor Until After the Elections

Ron Kobi, mayor of Teveria, arrives for a court hearing at the High Court in Yerushalayim on Monday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The High Court will not allow Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri to fire Teveria Mayor Ron Kobi before the upcoming Knesset elections, according to the outline proposed by the court on Monday. The budget will be set up by a committee of members of the civil service, not the council members, who will work alongside Mayor Kobi – until after the elections – and then a hearing will be held.

Supreme Court President Esther Hayut raised the possibility of appointing a committee of public servants until after the elections to replace the city council that was dispersed. Thus, his hearing in the Interior Ministry will only be held after the elections. Judge Chanan Meltzer proposed transferring the hearing to another minister instead of Rabbi Aryeh Deri. On the other hand, the interior minister asked for a few days to respond to the court’s arguments. The High Court decided that Rabbi Deri would be given a week to respond.

Two weeks ago, Kobi – for the fifth time since becoming mayor – failed to pass the budget of the Teveria municipality, even after the interior minister granted another extension for the budget. The members of the city council can no longer serve in their positions by law, and instead a committee will be appointed to carry out their duties.

Meanwhile, Kobi announced last month that he intends to run for the Knesset in the upcoming elections, at the head of a new party called the Secular Right.

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