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Japan ruling party wins upper house election after former premier’s death

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TOKYO, JAPAN - Fumio Kishida (C-L), Japan's prime minister and president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), place a rose on an LDP candidate's name, with his party’s executives to indicate a victory in the upper house election, at the party's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, July 10, 2022. (Toru Hanai / Pool - Anadolu Agency)
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Jul 11, 2022 - 05:55 AM

ANKARA (AA) – 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% of the 545 candidates in the elections were women, the highest yet.

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