Tokyo, Oct 4 (EFE).- Fumio Kishida was invested Monday as Japan’s new prime minister in an extraordinary parliamentary session after his victory in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party primaries.
Kishida’s appointment was formally ratified in a vote in both chambers, in which the ruling coalition has a large majority, and succeeds Yoshihide Suga, who resigned in the hours before along with his cabinet after just over a year at the helm.
The new leader plans to announce his government’s composition in the coming hours, in which it is expected that more than a dozen posts will be headed by first-time ministers and that he will maintain key positions, in a search for stability ahead of the imminent general elections.
Kishida becomes the country’s 100th prime minister under Japanese law, which says the president of last elections’s most voted force, in this case the liberal democrats, elects the head of the government if there is a mid-term leadership change.
Kishida’s arrival to power is transitory, since the current government will end Oct. 21 and the country must dissolve parliament and call general elections before the end of November.
His election as head of the party had general election overtones, given the current majority his party holds in both parliamentary chambers and the prospects of victory for the formation in coming national elections following the breakdown of the opposition party.
According to polls local media published over the weekend, about 64 percent of voters plan to vote for Kishida’s party and his government partner.
Kishida was elected his party’s president in the primaries held Wednesday, in which three other candidates participated. Suga announced in early September his decision not to run in the internal elections and, therefore, not to run for re-election as prime minister.
Among the challenges the new leader will have to face are the adoption of measures to keep Covid-19 under control, vaccination and approval of general state budgets. EFE