Associates of Deri said that the former minister of interior plans to approach the District Court of Jerusalem - which also doubles as the Court of Administrative Affairs - early next week regarding the matter. They said that Deri recently held meetings with several legal experts whose "findings were very encouraging."
Deri's camp announced last week that he is planning to meet the elections' clerk in the Jerusalem municipality, in order to submit 950 signatures in favor of his mayoral bid, despite existing public objections and logistical obstacles to his candidacy.
The appeal to the District Court of Jerusalem is expected to generate counter-appeals to the High Court of Justice. Several groups, including the Movement for Quality government in Israel have announced their plans to appeal to the High Court if the Jerusalem court approves Deri's candidacy.
Ten days ago, Justice Eliezer Rivlin, who is the chairman of the Central Election Committee, responded to repeated inquiries by Deri associates and announced that he can not discuss Deri's eligibility for mayor.
Protest VoteThe other candidates for mayor are also heating things up. Haredi media has reported that billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak is planning to open no less than 14 offices in Orthodox neighborhoods, in order to bolster his support among the religious community.
Yosi Rafaeli, one of Gaydamak's operatives in the Orthodox community, has told Ynet that "there is a good possibility that the Orthodox community will rally behind Gaydamak". According to election activists, if the Orthodox community does not rally behind one specific candidate, then there is a chance of a "protest vote", in favor of Gaydamak.
In the headquarters of Haredi candidate Meir Porush, activists were encouraged by the failure of polls to predict the correct outcome of the Kadima primaries earlier in the week.
According to Porush's associates, the Kadima primaries showed that polls are not necessarily representative of reality and, thus, they seem certain secular candidate Nir Barkat will not secure the majority of votes, as recent polls have suggested.
Ronen Medzini also contributed to this article.