Tokyo, September 3: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said he will not run for party re-election as a leader this month, amid criticism over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes as just under a year Suga took office and as his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) prepares to hold its presidential election on September 29, with campaigning starting on September 17, Kyodo News reported.
“I had planned to run, but dealing with both COVID-19 and the election would require an enormous amount of energy. I decided that there was no way to do both, that I had to choose,” Suga told reporters, adding, “I decided to focus on coronavirus measures.” Suga was quoted by a participant at a meeting of LDP executives held earlier in the day, as saying he will serve out his term through September 30.
LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai said Suga has not named a successor and the LDP leadership race will be held as scheduled. The contest, which will now choose Suga’s successor, comes ahead of a general election that must be held as the House of Representatives members’ term expires on October 21. Suga had earlier announced his bid for a second term as the party chief as his current term expires on September 30. But he gave up on the plan amid falling support within the party as well as the public. (ANI)
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