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Election gives LDP’s Kishida a secure base to govern

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in office barely a month, won a mandate of four more years in office after his ruling Liberal Democratic Party captured an outright majority in the Oct. 31 Lower House election.


However, the coalition the party leads with junior partner Komeito will fall short of the 305 seats that they held before the election.


Even so, the combined 261 seats give the ruling coalition an absolute stable majority, allowing it to secure the chairman’s post of all Lower House standing committees and dominate the membership in those bodies.


The united front put up by five opposition parties allowed the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan to win in more single-seat districts, but it was struggling to reach its pre-election strength of 109 seats. The main opposition party did not perform strongly in the proportional representation constituency segment of balloting.


Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) roughly tripled its number of seats from the 11 held before the election even though it was not part of the strategy by the other opposition parties to act as a single political bloc.


Despite the strong performance by the LDP under its new leader, the one-on-one contests in single-seat districts led to a number of veteran lawmakers going down in defeat.


Secretary-General Akira Amari was defeated in the Kanagawa No. 13 district by a CDP candidate. Amari is the first LDP secretary-general to lose in a single-seat district under the current electoral system put in place in 1996.


Another veteran who lost in a single-seat district was Nobuteru Ishihara, a former secretary-general. He was fighting to keep his seat in the Tokyo No. 8 district.


Junior coalition partner Komeito won in all nine single-seat districts it which it ran candidates and was heading toward adding to the 29 seats it held before the election.

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