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Sharon's reign ends in Israel

Israel unanimously declared Sharon as 'permanently incapacitated', a move that also confirmed Olmert in the position of acting PM.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2006 11:39 IST

Israel's Cabinet signalled a formal end to coma-stricken Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's premiership on Tuesday by unanimously declaring him "permanently incapacitated", officials said.

The move will also confirm Ehud Olmert in the position of acting Prime Minister.

He was handed the reins of power shortly after the 78-year-old Sharon suffered a massive brain hemorrhage on January 4.

Olmert, who led the centrist Kadima party to victory at a general election last month, said he hoped that his own status as acting premier would not last long.

"I hope today's decision will only be a short-term one," he told his ministers. "We are busy forming the next government."

The change in status will however only come into effect on April 14, at the end of the 100-day period as laid down by the law.

The government decision was moved forward due to the Jewish week-long Passover holiday which starts Wednesday.

First Published: Apr 11, 2006 15:01 IST