New Delhi September 16th
Yoshihide Suga has been elected Japan’s new Prime Minister, following a vote of confidence by parliament’s lower house on Wednesday. The 71-yr-old head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is succeeding outgoing leader Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister who stepped down earlier this months due to health issues.
Following the vote, Lower house speaker Tadamori Oshima informed the parliament that the house has decided to name Yoshihide Suga as the new prime minister.
Suga won an easy victory, taking 314 votes of 462 valid ballots cast in the lower house of parliament, where his ruling Liberal Democratic Party holds a commanding majority with its coalition partner.
A close ally of Mr Abe, the new prime minister is expected to stick closely to policies championed by his predecessor during his record-breaking tenure. Suga will soon announce his cabinet line up, which is expected to include a large number of former Abe appointees.
Suga has said he will prioritise keeping coronavirus infections under control and kickstarting Japan’s economy, and has promised to continue Abe’s key policy programmes.
Abe, whose support was critical in ensuring Suga’s victory in the party election this week, entered the prime minister’s office on the last day of his tenure and thanked the people of Japan, vowing to support the incoming government as a regular member of parliament. Abe added that the medicine he’s taking for his chronic illness is working that and he is recovering.