Suga wins LDP faction backing for Japan PM

Source: Reuters Published: 2020/9/1 17:48:41

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga attends a news conference at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan on May 29, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Japan's top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, has won the backing of the largest faction of the ruling party to become its next leader, public broadcaster NHK reported on Tuesday, making him a strong front-runner to become the next prime minister.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary and a long-time lieutenant of outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Suga is widely expected to stay the policy course set out by Abe, including the "Abenomics" strategy aimed at reviving the economy and keeping it afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Suga has not publicly announced his candidacy for leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), but has indicated privately that he intends to run, a source told Reuters. Media reported he would formally announce his intention to run on Wednesday.

The party's leader will almost certainly become prime minister because of its majority in the lower house of parliament. The new leader will replace Abe, who abruptly announced on Friday he was stepping down for health reasons.

In a meeting on Tuesday to decide on the format of the election, LDP executives agreed to a simplified vote, by party MPs from both chambers of parliament and heads of local chapters, party Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai said.

The proposal to exclude votes by rank-and-file members favors Suga, who has now reportedly locked in support from the party's biggest factions. But a final decision, to be made on Tuesday, could be delayed due to opposition from many party members.



blog comments powered by Disqus