Former Foreign and Defense Minister Fumio Kishida has prevailed in the primaries of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan and will be named prime minister and candidate for the general elections in the coming months.
In Japan, the president of the most voted political force, currently the PLD, is the one who holds the position of prime minister. The mandate of the current Japanese leader, Yoshihide Suga, ends on the 30th and he decided not to stand for reelection and therefore abandon his post as head of the Executive.
Kishida, 64, has won in the second round to Taro Kono, the current Minister of Administrative and Regulatory Reform in the cabinet of the outgoing Yoshihide Suga, by 257 votes to 170, in which the support of the deputies of the formation was determinant.
Both reached the second round after scoring a narrow margin of 256 (Kishida) and 255 (Kono) in the first, where neither had a sufficient majority. The other two candidates who participated in the internal elections, Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda, obtained 188 and 63 votes.
Next Monday, October 4, a parliamentary session is scheduled to take place in which the prime minister will be sworn in. The PLD has a comfortable majority in both houses of parliament, so the appointment of Kishida is practically assured.
Imminent general elections
“Now we have to prepare for the general elections”, Kishida said in his first remarks as party leader, after thanking the debate generated with the other candidates.
Kishida has indicated as a priority from now on, without ignoring the COVID-19 pandemic, the preparation of the draft of the general state budgets and dealing with pressing issues “such as diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific region and the birth rate” , in his speech after the voting act, held in a hotel in Tokyo.
The new president of the PLD will give a press conference in the next few hours to further address his program.
The vote of the deputies has been key in the victory of Kishida. The politician has prevailed in the second round with 249 of the 380 valid votes cast among the parliamentarians, and 8 of the 47 votes distributed among the militants of each prefecture.
In the decisive round, Kono achieved 131 support among the deputies and 39 from the regional representations, which were also his driving force in the first round.
Kishida now has a three-year term in charge of the PLD. He will be the candidate in the general elections that Japan must convene before the end of November, on the occasion of the closing of the current legislature on October 21.