Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon turned 80 years old Tuesday but remains comatose in a Tel Aviv Hospital. He suffered a major stroke more than two years ago and has not regained consciousness.
He was replaced by then-vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert until new elections were held. Sharon founded the Kadima party after bolting the Likud, which he helped found. He won 40 mandates in the Knesset in general elections, but the party's strength declined to 29 when Olmert led the party in the last elections. Polls the past several months have showed that Kadima is close to disintegrating and would win less than 10 mandates in new elections.