On this day January 4, 2006

Ehud Olmert became Acting Prime Minister of Israel after Ariel Sharon suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke that rendered him incapable of carrying out his duties.

ariel_sharon_2004Ariel Sharon (Hebrew: אריאל שרון‎ born on 26 February 1928) is a former Israeli Prime Minister and military leader.

Sharon served as Prime Minister from March 2001 until April 2006, though he was unable to carry out his duties after suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006, when he fell into a coma and entered a persistent vegetative state.

On 30 July 2008, Olmert announced that he would not participate in his party’s September 2008 leadership elections and would resign from his position as Prime Minister immediately thereafter (due to public suspicion that he was involved in allegedly corrupt activities).

Four days after Tzipi Livni won the ballot, Olmert formally resigned from office in a letter submitted to President Shimon Peres, who asked Livni to form a new government.

As Livni failed to form a new government, general elections will be held on February 10, 2009 and Olmert will remain an Interim prime minister until after the elections, as required by the law to remain in office, after resignation, until a new Prime Minister is sworn in.

On 26 November 2008, the Attorney General of Israel, Meni Mazuz, had informed Olmert that he decided to file an indictment against him in what became to be known as “Rishontours” affair, pending a hearing at the attorney general.

However, legally, he is presumed innocent until the trial’s final verdict is in, and thus may continue to perform his duties as Prime Minister until a new Prime Minister is sworn in.

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