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Shinzo Abe Declares His Victory in the Japanese Elections

TOKYO, Japan – Shinzo Abe declared his victory in Japan’s national elections, according to polls indicating that his party won the majority of seats in the upper house of Parliament and is about to become the country’s oldest prime minister, CNN reported Monday.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won 71 of the 124 seats in the 245-member House of Council, according to the NHK public channel, but not reaching the vast majority required to achieve the goal of long time to change the pacifist constitution of the country.
The main opposition Democratic Constitutional Party (CDP) won 53 seats, according to NHK.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the voters,” Abe said at a press conference Monday afternoon. “This is a choice about political stability and chaos, we asked voters to choose between these two options and many people listened to our speeches on the streets.”
Abe outlined a range of challenges that his party intended to address in the next term, including social security reforms, free education, strengthening the economy, and the aging of the population and contraction of the workforce.
After a landslide victory in the House of Commons in 2017, Abe won a clear majority in both Houses of Parliament. However, Abe failed to secure the two-thirds majority required to amend the constitution – a basic goal for Abe to set a 2020 deadline.
“In this election, the constitutional amendment was also a big problem, and it will finally be determined by the national referendum,” Abe said on Monday, calling the two-third requirement “very heavy”.
“The Japanese people will have the last word on this issue”.
He added that the LDP had already drafted an amendment proposal, but would continue discussions to get support from opposition parties.
The strong performance of the LDP in the elections will disappoint the opposition, which is still struggling to form a coherent anti-LDP coalition, as well as those who hoped for a better gender balance in the second chamber. A record number of women ran in the elections this year, but the LDP party compared relatively few women candidates to its leftist rivals.
Japanese politics is still struggling with the disintegration of the Democratic Party. The former opposition party finally split in 2017, after years of turmoil, between the right-wing Hope Party, led by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and the CDP. The two failed to win in this year’s general election, dividing the anti-LDP vote and leaving Abe more powerful than ever.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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