An emergency meeting of the Israeli cabinet has been led by Sharon’s deputy, Ehud Olmert, who has been appointed acting prime minister.Ariel Sharon never named a preferred successor, and recent opinion polls suggest the public do not see Olmert as a long-term replacement.
During the emergency meeting Sharon’s chair remained empty, and ministers were briefed by the attorney general on how things would be run in the coming days.
“Our eyes, along with the rest of the world, are raised towards the hospital,” said Olmert. “We hope to see the prime minister, who survived so many battles in the past, win this battle, and quickly return to strength.”
Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry has announced that under Israeli law the March 28 election must go ahead as planned.