Opposition Unnerved by LDP Race before General Election


Tokyo, Sept. 6 (Jiji Press)--Japan's opposition parties are keeping a nervous eye on the leadership election for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party this month after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga opted not to run for re-election.

Opposition parties are worried that voter interest in them may be eroded in the run-up to the coming general election due to growing public attention on the LDP contest after Suga's bombshell announcement on Friday.

They are also disappointed that they will be deprived of a chance to vie against the unpopular prime minister in the next election for the House of Representatives, the powerful lower chamber of parliament, which must be held by the autumn.

"Only LDP member can vote in the party presidential election. As the Lower House election is an opportunity for all members of the public to take part, we will push ahead with our campaigning fairly on the strength of the preparations we have made," Yukio Edano, leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, told reporters in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, western Japan, on Saturday.

Suga's decision not to run in the LDP leadership election, set for Sept. 29, one day before his term as LDP president expires, is a heavy blow for opposition parties, upending their strategies for the Lower House election.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press