Sharon is face of party's campaign
Kadima will rely heavily on images of PM in power
Although Ariel Sharon has been in a coma for the past two months, his Kadima party is still relying on his vigorous past to sway Israeli voters.
Photos of a robust Mr Sharon, who is nominally still prime minister, are to form the centrepiece of the party's opening presentation, as the television advertising campaign for this month's elections gets under way in Israel.
Mr Sharon, will be seen smiling with US President George W. Bush in the White House last year, leaning over a map on the banks of the Suez Canal as a general in the Yom Kippur war with a bandage around his forehead and standing reverently before the Western Wall.
Kadima's campaign strategists hope the images of power and decisiveness will rub off on his chosen successor, acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is heading the Kadima ticket.
With a candidate who has virtually no military record and little personal charisma, Mr Olmert's advisers are leaning heavily on Mr Sharon, even in absentia.
'We start the campaign with Ariel Sharon and we switch to Ehud Olmert midway,' said campaign manager Reuven Adler. 'Sharon is the founder and Olmert is his successor who will bring us to victory.'
Mr Adler said Mr Olmert would be the 'star' of the television campaign and appear in all the party's TV presentations. The title of the television campaign, however, is 'Sharon's way'.
All parties will be allocated free television time each night until just before the March 28 vote.
Likud, headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, has not yet spelled out its campaign but its strategists have revealed that a central theme will be 'Olmert is not Sharon'.
The Likud campaign is also expected to attack Mr Olmert's reported readiness for further withdrawals on the West Bank as a surrender to Hamas.
The Labour Party, headed by former union leader Amir Peretz, is expected to focus on social issues.
If, as expected, Kadima wins the election, Labour is considered almost certain to join it in a coalition government.
Outlining plans for Israel to go it alone if Kadima does win, an ally of Mr Olmert said on Sunday that isolated settlements in the West Bank would be evacuated and its own border drawn with the Palestinians, Associated Press reports.
Avi Dichter said Israel planned to move settlers to the main settlements in the West Bank.
The Hamas victory in the Palestinian election has given a push to the view that Israel must take unilateral steps.