Shas Demands Fair Share of Ministries

Shas Party chairman Rabbi Aryeh Deri and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (Hadas Parush/Flash90/File)

Shas leader Rabbi Aryeh Deri has demanded of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ that in the event of any new ministerial appointments in the coming days, his party be given its fair share.

This was in the wake of media reports that a justice ministry panel head by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will decide as early as the end of this week whether Netanyahu must relinquish the ministerial portfolios he currently holds due to the indictments against him.

“In recent days, media reports have been published about your intention to appoint more Likud ministers. The key mandates whose ministries you are giving away would be an injustice to Shas, which is Likud’s largest and most loyal partner,” Rabbi Deri wrote to Netanyahu in the missive which was sent on Sunday.

He then elaborated, pointing out that “Likud has 32 seats and has 16 ministers including the prime minister. They have a ministry for every two seats. The United Right has seven seats and they have received the senior security portfolio, the education portfolio as well as the transport portfolio, three very large offices. They have a ministry for every 2.3 seats. Shas has nine seats. It is the second-largest party in the coalition, and we have the interior ministry and the religious affairs ministry. The Periphery, Negev, and Galil Development Office was awarded to the Shas party as compensation for the fact that in 2015 it was decided to dilute the Interior Ministry and transfer the interior planning director to the Ministry of Finance. That is, Shas has two middle offices, and just one ministry for every 4.5 MKs.”

“Therefore, and in light of the fact that Shas has suffered from having low representation in the government relative to its size, I ask the prime minister to appoint Shas members as ministers of labor, welfare, and agriculture,” the Shas leader concluded.

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