Either way, it's a pity. I, and other Oranges like me, wanted to see Sharon live a long and healthy life--behind bars. Maybe this is G-d's way of saying he doesn't trust the Israeli system, either.
So now what? Yesterday there were rumors that while Sharon underwent scheduled surgery on his heart President Moshe Katzav would be acting Prime Minister, specially appointed, but since this bleeding happened before, Ehud Olmert is Acting Prime Minister.
According to section 20b the Israeli Basic Laws:
Should the Prime Minister be permanently incapacitated, the Government shall be deemed to have resigned on the 101st day during which the Acting Prime Minister served in his place.
section 15b reads:
(b) Should the Prime Minister be temporarily unable to discharge his duties, his place will be filled by the Acting Prime Minister. After the passage of 100 days upon which the Prime Minister does not resume his duties, the Prime Minister will be deemed permanently unable to exercise his office.
and section 20a reads:
If the Prime Minister dies, the Government shall be deemed to have resigned on the day of his death.
but section 30c reads:
(c) A Prime Minister who has resigned shall continue to carry out his functions pending the constitution of the new Government. If the Prime Minister has died, or is permanently incapacitated, from carrying out his duties, or if his tenure was ended because of an offense, the Government shall designate another of the Ministers who is a member of the Knesset and of the Prime Minister's faction to be Interim Prime Minister pending the constitution of the new Government.
so it might not be as clearcut as it seems.
Like everything else in Israel, the situation is complicated.
Olmert was elected mayor of Jerusalem, I think, more because people were sick of Teddy Kolleck than anything else. Does he stand a chance of getting elected PM on his own? I doubt it. So he may try to inflict as much of his program on the country as he can in the 81 days left before elections.
Politicians may want to watch out for Bibi Netanyahu -- he got elected last time because Rabin was killed, and now that Sharon may die, his chances are getting better. I'm just sayin'...