TOKYO, September 29. / TASS /. The first round of voting in the election of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader, who will also serve as Prime Minister, did not reveal a winner, according to the official data published on the party's website.
After counting the votes of some 382 parliamentarians from the ruling party and the same number of electors from its rank-and-file members, former Foreign Minister and Defense Minister Taro Kono gained 255 out of 764 votes, while ex-Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida entered the second round with 256 votes. Meanwhile, Kishida has a significant majority in the votes of parliamentary deputies, which is going to be a critical factor in the second round.
Furhermore, Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda, who previously held several ministerial posts, took part in the polls. They reaped a total of 188 and 63 votes, respectively, so, they were eliminated from the further race. As many as two votes were declared invalid.
The second round will take place without delay but by different rules: some 382 MPs from the LDP and 47 representatives of the party’s regional organizations, one from each prefecture, will cast their votes. One needs to get over 50% of the ballot in order to win.
The election of the LDP leader is held since the term of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expires. He took over this post in 2020 due to the sudden resignation of Shinzo Abe. Suga refused to participate in the polls, explaining that he wanted to devote the rest of his term to combating COVID-19.