Kishida Elected Ruling LDP's New President
Tokyo, Sept. 29 (Jiji Press)--The ruling Liberal Democratic Party elected former Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida as its new president Wednesday, effectively allowing him to become Japan's next prime minister.
Kishida, 64, beat regulatory reform minister Taro Kono, 58, in a runoff in the LDP presidential election to pick the successor to Yoshihide Suga, the current prime minister. Kishida won 257 votes--249 cast by lawmakers and eight representing rank-and-file party members and supporters, outpacing Kono's 170 votes--131 from lawmakers and 39 representing rank-and-file members and supporters.
The election went to a runoff after none of the four candidates, also including former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi, 60, and LDP Executive Acting Secretary-General Seiko Noda, 61, obtained a majority of votes in the first round.
In the first round, Kishida defeated all others by collecting a total of 256 votes, including 146 from lawmakers. Kono won 255 votes, including 86 from lawmakers, followed by Takaichi with 188 votes in total and Noda with 63 votes.
Kishida's term will run through September 2024. Given the LDP's strength in the Diet, Japan's parliament, he is almost certain to be elected prime minister at the outset of an extraordinary Diet session to be convened Monday.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]