Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced today that he is quitting the Likud and establishing a new, centrist party, called National Responsibility. Sharon met with President Moshe Katsav on Monday morning to request permission to dissolve the Knesset and hold early elections. Sharon will be courting various Members of Knesset and ministers to sure up support for his new party. Following Sharon's departure, Likud Central Committee chairman Tzachi Hanegbi will take over the party chairmanship and convene the committee on Thursday to vote for a new chairman. Sharon founded the Likud in 1973.