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Maehara enjoys substantial lead going into DP presidential election, Sankei survey

  • August 28, 2017
  • , Sankei , p. 5
  • JMH Translation

Sankei Shimbun conducted a survey on Aug. 27 on the situation in the final phase of campaigning for the Democratic Party (DP) presidential election set for Sept. 1. Former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, 55, has succeeded in obtaining the support of some 100, or 70%, of the 142 incumbent Diet members, far exceeding the 35 or so lawmakers who are backing former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, 53. Maehara also enjoys a slight advantage in terms of support from rank-and-file party members, supporters, and local assembly members. Edano is making every effort to catch up.

 

Inquiries with the Maehara and Edano camps and other DP Diet members showed that so far, Maehara has had the support of the Maehara group, which he leads (about 20 members), and four other groups, totaling some 80 lawmakers. Now that he is seen to have an advantage in the election campaign, it appears that another 20 Diet members, who had been undecided on whom to support, have come to back him since the official start of the campaign on Aug. 21.

 

Maehara’s indication of his intent to review the policy of election cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party, which is opposed by many party members, also led to the expansion of support. It appears that Maehara has also secured the support of around 70% of the party’s official candidates in national elections (127).

 

On the other hand, Edano is supported by the Akamatsu group (20 members) led by former House of Representatives Vice Speaker Hirotaka Akamatsu, former DP President Katsuya Okada, and others. However, he has not been able to expand his support. A majority of the members in the Noda group (10 members) led by Secretary General Yoshihiko Noda, to which President Renho also belongs, have now professed support for Edano, who is striving to rally. (Abridged)

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