AGENCY : Yoshihide Suga, 71, has been elected to be the leader of the ruling party of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Japan’s former PM Sinjo Abe had resigned from the Prime Ministership in August in the middle of his term due to health reasons.
Yoshihide Suga secured the landslide victory after receiving 377 out of the 534 votes while contesting with former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba and former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the internal party election to choose a new party leader on Monday.
Former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba took 68 votes, while former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who was once considered Abe’s favored successor, received 89 votes.
Former PM Sinjo Abe did not endorse any candidate publicly. The Japanese Parliament will vote for the new prime minister on Wednesday, and Yoshihide Suga is certain to win the race looking at the majority of the LDP.
Suga is seen as a promising candidate who will provide stability and continuity to former PM Sinjo Abe’s policies.
Suga will be leading the interim government beginning in the mid-term and until the 2021 elections. Veteran politician Yoshihide Suga is a son of a strawberry farmer and former chief cabinet secretary Abe’s administration. He holds a reputation for being an efficient and practical leader.
Some observers suggest that the party should put a more vibrant man at the center so that the party can reach wider voters in the 2021 election.