Japan political QUAKE: Democratic party DECIMATED in one night as nationalist leader rises

Friday, September 29, 2017
By Paul Martin

JAPAN’S main opposition party effectively ceased to exist overnight as members jumped ship to align themselves with a formidable challenger Yuriko Koike – tipped to become the country’s first female premier.

Fri, Sep 29, 2017

The Democratic Party, which was in power from 2009 until 2012 announced that it will not put forward any candidates in the election on October 22.

But all of its members of parliament will be able to seek nominations from Ms Koike’s new conservative, populist Party of Hope.

Leader of the Democrat Party, Seiji Maehara, said: “We will choose substance over appearance.”

Ms Koike, a conservative nationalist and former newscaster, set up her new party “Party of Hope” only TWO days ago.

Some commentators have likened her to a Japanese Nigel Farage figure.

She said on Friday she won’t accept all Democrats who want to run on her ticket, and liberals will probably be left out.

Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe called a snap election in the hope his improved ratings and a struggling opposition would help his Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition keep its majority in the lower house, where it now holds a two-thirds “super majority”.

However, no general election needed to be held until late 2018.

But the collapse of the Democrats and formation of Ms Koike’s party has thrown Mr Abe into a spin.

The Rest…HERE

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