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POLITICS > Elections

Abe may call snap election concurrently with Upper House race in summer

  • January 4, 2016
  • , Asahi, Yomiuri
  • JMH Summary

Several Friday papers speculated that PM Abe may be tempted to dissolve the Lower House for a snap election at the same time as the Upper House race planned for July. Asahi wrote that the premier is carefully weighing the timing for the dissolution with the goal of boosting momentum for constitutional revision. In order to ensure the ruling coalition’s victory, which would require the junior ruling partner Komeito’s full cooperation, the prime minister heeded the party’s request to apply a reduced consumption tax rate to a broad range of food and beverages. The daily said cabinet support and stock prices will be key factors for the premier when gauging the timing for a snap election. The paper added that the prime minister will be more eager to hold a double election if ruling party candidates prevail in three key elections to be held in the first half of this year – the Ginowan mayoral race in January, a by-election for a Lower House seat in Hokkaido in April, and the Okinawa prefectural assembly race in June. Yomiuri said the LDP hopes to win a single-party majority in the upper chamber for the first time in 27 years.

 

In a related development, several Sunday papers reported on a radio interview with PM Abe on Friday, in which he categorically dismissed the possibility of holding a double election in the summer by saying: “Speed and momentum for implementing policies will be lost without a stable foundation for the administration. My first priority is to win the Upper House election.” 

in June.

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