Japan: Yoshihide Suga won a key vote and is on track to become prime minister

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He was elected leader of the ruling party. This Wednesday, Parliament would confirm him as Shinzo Abe’s successor.

The ruling party of Japan elected Yoshihide Suga as their new leader, a preliminary step for him to become prime minister in the next few days, replacing Shinzo Abe, who decided to resign for health reasons.

Suga, 71, was Abe’s right-hand man in the administration that began in 2012. He leads the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) until September 2021 to complete the mandate that Abe left incomplete by his resignation, announced on August 28.

The new leader of the PLD obtained 377 out of 535 votes that were at stake, which include those of the 394 party legislators and 141 of the local sections of that political group in the 47 prefectures of the country.

In the internal elections of the PLD, former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishiba came in second, with 89 votes, and third place went to Shigeru Ishiba, with 68 of the 534 valid votes cast.

Suga’s victory had been anticipated for several days, taking into account the support received from the different factions of the PLD. In previous discussions, Suga promised to follow policies that Abe bequeaths.

The Diet (Parliament) will hold an extraordinary session between next Wednesday and Friday to appoint the new prime minister, and expected to ratify Suga because the PLD has a majority in the two legislative chambers.

In a message to the political leaders who elected him, Suga recalled that Shinzo Abe had to resign for health reasons due to chronic ulcerative colitis that he has suffered for decades, but said that it is necessary to continue with his work.

“A political vacuum cannot be tolerated amid the expansion of the coronavirus pandemic and the national crisis … We must inherit and move forward with the efforts of Prime Minister Abe,” Suga said.

Previously, Shinzo Abe congratulated Suga for the election and recalled the times when they worked together within the Government.

“I am proud to have been able to fight with all of you for seven years and eight months,” said Abe. “Our fight continues,” added the still prime minister of Japan.

Japan’s new prime minister will assume the role at a pivotal moment in the country’s history, which faces a historic recession Due to, among other factors, the coronavirus health crisis, which already left 75,646 accumulated cases and 1,448 deaths.

In terms of international politics, Japan finds itself in a new conflict of interest with China, in full military strengthening of the Asian giant to navigate the waters they share, in addition to the everlasting threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear race.

With information from EFE and DPA

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