Israeli PM Ariel Sharon declared 'permanently incapacitated'

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Israeli cabinet today (Tuesday) declared Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "permanently incapacitated," a declaration that officially ends his tenure as Prime Minister.

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whose centrist Kadima party won parliamentary elections in March, is currently in negotiations to form a coalition government.

Sharon has been in a coma since suffering a massive hemorrhagic stroke on January 4. Under Israeli law, Olmert can serve in the capacity of acting prime minister for only 100 days, until April 14, before a permanent replacement must be chosen. The official announcement was moved up to Tuesday because the Jewish holiday of Passover begins on Wednesday, April 12. Olmert is expected to be named as Sharon's permanent replacement.