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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida declared victory on Monday after the ruling coalition retained a parliamentary majority above expectations after parliamentary elections on Sunday.
The governing coalition in Japan managed to retain power, losing fewer seats than expected, in parliamentary elections on Sunday, October 31. The poll was the first major test for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, according to new estimates released on Monday.
During a press conference on Monday, Fumio Kishida said the ballot had been “very difficult”, but that voters had shown that they wanted a “stable government” of the outgoing majority to shape the future of the country. He made the statements after his Liberal Democratic Party (PLD, nationalist right) and his partner, the Komeito (center-right), won 293 of the 465 seats in the lower house of parliament, according to the latest counts from Japanese media. Although this is a small drop from the 305 seats that these two parties previously held, their outgoing coalition thus retains an appreciable majority giving the government a notable “stability”, estimated the daily Asahi.
As early as Sunday evening, Fumio Kishida had declared that he now intended to move very quickly on the massive new stimulus plan that he promised to accelerate the economic recovery in Japan, by wanting to pass a supplementary budget by the end of the year. ‘year. With the comfortable majority Fumio Kishida has, “the fiscal stimulus plan will be adopted easily,” said Takahiro Sekido, strategist at MUFG Bank. This gave a boost to the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which climbed more than 2% on Monday.
“Very precious trust”
“I believe that we have obtained a very precious trust” from the voters, also estimated Sunday evening Fumio Kishida, 64, became Prime Minister barely a month ago, while recognizing a slight decline in his training, who ruled Japan almost continuously since 1955.
Having made the fight against Covid-19 his number one priority, Fumio Kishida also promised to fight social inequalities, without however specifying the measures he intends to implement. Next summer he will face another election, this time to the upper house of parliament which the Nikkei business daily says will be a test of “what he has accomplished” by then.
He said he wanted to attend the COP26 climate summit which has just opened in Glasgow (Scotland) and is expected to leave Japan early Tuesday for this first trip abroad as Prime Minister. The government coalition, especially the LDP, feared a substantial loss of seats after the resignation in September of Fumio Kishida’s predecessor, Yoshihide Suga, just a year after taking office.
The former prime minister had broken unpopularity records because of his clumsy management of the health crisis and his maintenance at all costs of the Tokyo Olympics last summer, despite the opposition of a majority of Japanese. The PLD previously had an overwhelming majority of 276 of the 465 seats in the Lower House of Parliament. He kept 261 after Sunday’s elections, which gives him a comfortable absolute majority on his own.
Five opposition parties, of which the main one, the Constitutional Democratic Party (PDC, center-left), had joined forces in many constituencies for these legislative elections. But they ultimately failed to make a breakthrough due to disagreements between the PDC and the Japanese Communist Party, especially over the relationship with the United States.
The surprise of these legislative elections came from a populist party from Osaka (west), the Japanese Innovation Party (Nippon Ishin no Kai), which has become the third parliamentary force in the country with 41 seats, four times more than before. This formation, which was not in the alliance of a part of the opposition, “collected the votes of conservative voters frustrated by the government coalition PLD-Komeito”, estimated the conservative daily Yomiuri.
The official rate of participation in Sunday’s legislative elections had still not been published Monday morning. But according to an estimate by the Kyodo agency, it would stand at 55.93%, the third lowest since the post-war period but up slightly compared to previous legislative elections in 2017.