Legal aides to Aryeh Deri yesterday said that he was debating what course of action to persue in order to shorten the period that prohibits him from assuming public office after conviction involving moral turpitude. A shortened period would allow him to take part in Jerusalem's upcoming mayoral election.

Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, who chairs the state's Central Elections Committee, yesterday responded to Deri's request that he okay his entry into the race.

Citizens convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude are barred from running for office for seven years after the end of their sentence. By this reckoning, Deri would not be allowed to offer his candidacy for public office until mid-2009. However, Deri hopes that a change in the law that took effect after his release, which shortened the cooling-off period might pave the way for his participation in the November election.

Sources close to Deri now say he may either ask the Jerusalem District Court to shorten the period he is barred from office or he may ask President Shimon Peres to use his authority to cancel the moral turpitude aspect of his conviction.