JERUSALEM, Apr 4 (Reuters) Planned reparatory surgery on Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma since a January 4 stroke, was postponed today as the Israeli prime minister had a respiratory infection, his hospital said.
The 78-year-old was meant to have undergone an operation to repair damage to his skull from previous procedures. He has spent much of the last three months in what Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital called ''critical but stable condition''.
Hadassah described his current infection as ''mild''.
Sharon was replaced by interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert whose Kadima party emerged as the largest party in last week's Israeli general election. Olmert is expected succeed Sharon in the full capacity of prime minister in the coming weeks.
Doctors have speculated that in the coming weeks Sharon will be moved to a nursing home intended for long-term comatose patients requiring constant medical care.
Reuters DKS DS1225