Japan ruling party wins upper house election after ex-PM’s death

Japan ruling party wins upper house election after ex-PM’s death

ANKARA – Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Sunday scored a “sweeping victory” in House of Councillors election in shadow of former premier’s assassination.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s LDP and its coalition partner Komeito won over 75 seats, retaining a majority in the 248-member upper chamber of parliament, according to Japan’s Kyodo news agency.

The LDP-Komeito coalition crossed the 166 threshold needed to aim for a first-ever revision of the 1947 Constitution, the report said.

While the LDP had the best outcome since 2013, the major opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, which held 23 seats, saw its seats fall below 20.

“The election, which is the foundation of democracy, was challenged by violence and it carries a big meaning that the election was carried through. I will continue to work hard to protect democracy,” said Kishida, referring to the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe, 67, the longest-serving premier in Japanese history, was killed by a 41-year-old gunman on Friday.

Elections are held for half of the upper house every three years.

Voting ended at 8 p.m. local time (1100GMT), and voters cast two ballots – one for electoral district representatives and one for proportional representation.

Parliamentary candidates’ campaigning for six-year terms officially ended on Saturday night.

More than 30 percent of the 545 candidates in the elections were women, the highest yet. (Anadolu)

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