Japan’s ruling party projected to keep majority in Parliament

(Update 1: re-lead with projections)

Tokyo, Jul 10 (EFE).- Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is projected to maintain its large majority in the Upper House, the state-run NHK network said Sunday after voting centers closed in an election marred by the killing of former prime minister Shinzo Abe.

The party is poised to consolidate its parliamentary dominance along with its coalition partner, the Buddhist Komeito.

The elections were held two days after the Abe’s assassination during a campaign event.

NHK’s projections, based on the first count and exit polls, suggest that the ruling coalition will take over half of the votes at stake – 125 of the Upper House’s 248 seats.

The LDP is expected to obtain between 59 and 69 seats, while the Komeito will get between 13 and 20, according to calculations. They went into Sunday’s election with 52 and 10 seats respectively.

Abe, who governed between 2012 and 2020 and is the country’s longest-serving head of government, still held enormous influence in his party. He died Friday after being shot during a campaign rally with a homemade weapon by an ex-military serviceman, who was arrested on the spot.

Police are investigating the motives of the alleged assassin, identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, who confessed to authorities that he attacked Abe for his alleged links to a religious organization that had reportedly caused problems for the suspect’s family.

The liberals and the opposition parties were united in condemning the attack and moving forward with the electoral campaign amid reinforced security measures. EFE


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