PM Sharon in the Hospital — 5 questions

With Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the hospital suffering from a reported mild stroke, I wanted to lay out 5 questions that I am sure are on everyone’s mind:

  1. Does this medical event, however slight or serious, raise doubts in the electorate’s mind about the 78 year-old Sharon’s ability to lead the country for the next 4 years? Irrespective of how this medical incident turns out, will Sharon lose votes when the polls come out tomorrow and over the next 4 months?
  2. If Sharon cannot continue in the race, who will lead the Kadima party? And, does it matter? A weekend poll in the right-wing newspaper Makor Rishon suggested that without Sharon, Kadima sinks from 35 knesset seats to 12.
  3. How does Sharon’s health impact the Likud Primary schedule for Monday? Most assumptions were that the race for head of the Likud was to be a coalition partner with Kadima. Now it is possible that the leader of the Likud will be the PM. Will that change people’s vote? Is Netanyahu more of a likely PM than Silvan Shalom?
  4. Should there be an age ceiling on running for Prime Minister?
  5. Who, in your opinion, will gain most from a flight of Kadima voters? Labor,Shinui or Likud?

[Originally published on 18th December 2005 by MIchael Eisenberg]