Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced the name of his new centrist party Monday afternoon, as Ahrayut Leumit, or "National Responsibility."
Sharon made the announcement at the first meeting he held with members of the new party at noon on Monday. Shortly before the meeting, Sharon sent a letter to Chairman of the Likud Central Committee Tzahi Hanegbi, formally withdrawing from the party.
Earlier in the day, Sharon met with President Moshe Katsav and requested that he dissolve the parliament, which would lead to early elections sometime in March.
By Monday morning, Sharon had not yet officially registered his party. To do so, he must submit an application to the Registrar of Political Parties, who is a Justice Ministry official.