[Current Events Observation] The Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election changes

  As Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's public support rate continues to slump, the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election, which had no suspense, has suddenly changed.

At present, many people in the Liberal Democratic Party are interested in running for president.

Some analysts pointed out that the attitude of the various factions within the Liberal Democratic Party and the schedule of the presidential election and the House of Representatives election will have an impact on whether Suga Yoshihide can be re-elected.

  On September 14, 2020, Yoshihide Suga won the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election and became the Prime Minister of Japan two days later.

As he succeeded Shinzo Abe, who had resigned suddenly, as the president of the Liberal Democratic Party, his term of office only ends on September 30 this year.

The term of the current House of Representatives will end on October 21.

  According to Yoshihide Suga's original vision, after the new crown epidemic is controlled and the Olympic Games are successfully held, there should be no suspense in his re-election as president.

However, as the epidemic in Japan repeated, factors that were not conducive to Yoshihide Suga's re-election began to appear.

  The first is that Yoshihide Suga's approval rate continues to decline.

According to a poll published by Japan's Asahi Shimbun on August 23, Yoshihide Suga's cabinet approval rate dropped to 25.8%; a poll by Sankei Shimbun showed that Yoshihide Suga's cabinet approval rate was 32.1%.

A poll conducted by Kyodo News in mid-August also showed that Yoshihide Suga's cabinet approval rate was 31.8%, and more than 60% of the respondents did not want Yoshihide Suga to continue to serve as prime minister.

  The second is the election failure.

In the election for mayor of Yokohama, Japan, held on August 22, the former National Public Security Committee Chairman Ozaki Hachiro, supported by Yoshihide Suga, was defeated by Yamanaka Takeharu, a professor at Yokohama City University who was supported by the opposition party.

  Yokohama is regarded as the "election site" of Yoshihide Suga, and he has been elected to the House of Representatives many times here.

Now that the candidate he supported has lost, Japanese media generally believe that it will deal a blow to Suga's cohesion.

  In fact, after the results of the Mayor of Yokohama election came out, voices in the Liberal Democratic Party questioning whether Yoshihide Suga could lead the party to win the House of Representatives election began to increase, thinking that the presidential election was related to the issue of "protecting the Liberal Democratic Party or the cabinet."

  According to Japanese media reports, there are already many people interested in running for president of the Liberal Democratic Party, including former Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary Shigeo Shigeo, former Minister of General Affairs Sanae Takaichi, and Liberal Democratic Party Political Director Hirofumi Shimomura.

The Liberal Democratic Party stipulates that running for president needs to be recommended by at least 20 members of the party’s congress.

  In the opinion of analysts, the reason for the "change of command" voice in the Liberal Democratic Party is mainly due to the concern that Yoshihide Suga's low approval rate will affect the House of Representatives election.

Yoshihide Suga's low approval rate stems from public dissatisfaction with his anti-epidemic policy.

Therefore, for Suga Yoshihide, the fundamental to keep the regime is to control the epidemic as soon as possible.

  However, the current political situation in Japan has also weakened the influence of the success of the fight against the epidemic on the regime.

First of all, the Liberal Democratic Party is still dominated by one party, and many polls show that the support rate of opposition parties is far lower than that of the Liberal Democratic Party, which means that the Liberal Democratic Party is still very likely to win the House of Representatives election.

Second, within the Liberal Democratic Party, it is the attitude of the major factions that determines the outcome of the presidential election, not the government's anti-epidemic policy.

  Yoshihide Suga does not belong to any faction, but he has the support of Abe and Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party.

The second-tier faction led by the second-tier has more than 40 members of parliament.

Among the potential opponents of Yoshihide Suga, only Fumio Kishida's Kishida faction is larger, with more than 40 members of the Diet.

Therefore, the attitude of larger factions such as the Hosoda faction and the Aso faction will become the key to influence the presidential election.

  In addition, how Suga Yoshihide arranges the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election and the schedule of the House of Representatives election is also worthy of attention.

If the House of Representatives elections are held first and the Liberal Democratic Party wins the elections, then Yoshihide Suga's chances of being re-elected will increase.

However, the current situation of the epidemic in Japan is severe, and Yoshihide Suga may have to postpone the election of the House of Representatives until after the election of the president of the Liberal Democratic Party, which provides opportunities for his competitors.

  Bi Zhenshan

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