Voting begins in Japan’s general election

Tokyo, Oct 31 (EFE).- Polling stations opened across Japan on Sunday morning for voting in the country’s general election, in which the ruling party led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to renew its mandate.

Around 46,000 polling booths opened at 7 am and are set to remain open until 8 pm, while the counting of votes is expected to continue for many hours afterwards.

Although the official results are usually not announced until the following day, preliminary trends based on exit polls and the initial vote count become available a few hours after polling ends.

About 105.6 million people are eligible to vote during the day for 465 seats of the lower house of the parliament.

The lower house is the most powerful legislative organ of Japan, and the party or coalition that secures a majority is able to elect the prime minister, approve state budgets and ratify international agreements, among other powers.

The ruling coalition, consisting of Kishida’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party and the Buddhist formation Komeito, enjoyed a comfortable majority in the recently concluded legislature, having 276 and 29 seats respectively.

Most of the polls have predicted that the coalition will retain a majority, which requires at least 233 seats, although the number of seats it holds might be reduced.

The main opposition forces have gathered under an opposition coalition led by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan led by Yukio Edano, which also includes the Communist Party of Japan.

Out of the 465 seats in the fray, 289 are assigned to the candidates who receive the highest number of votes in each electoral district, while 176 are decided by proportional representation in 11 regional blocs.

Therefore, each voter chooses two candidates on the ballot: one to represent his district and the other for the region. EFE


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