Aryeh Deri, one of the party's three chairmen, called the achievement "a miracle" saying: "The Likud lost seats, Kadima all but disappeared but Shas – despite everything – has remained solid.
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"This was the hardest campaign Shas has ever known," he said, "another religious party was able to tempt voters away from us," he added, referring to Habayit Hayehudi's success in the elections.
"But tonight we have proven that no one can contest the leadership of our rabbi and teachers, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef."
Shas Chairman Eli Yishai pledged that the next government will push social issues: "There can't be a coalition without Shas," he said.
Shas leader Ariel Atias also spoke to supporters, thanking them for their efforts on behalf of the party and saying that the party will demand to keep the Interior Portfolio.
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