2024年4月2日火曜日

RULLING LAWMAKER SAYS KISHIDA SET TO DISSOLVE LOWER HOUSE IN FALL - JAPAN

RULLING LAWMAKER SAYS KISHIDA SET TO DISSOLVE LOWER HOUSE IN FALL - JAPAN

@Jackie San

A senior lawmaker of the Komeito party, the junior coalition partner of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to dissolve the House of Representatives in the fall.


Keiichi Ishii, secretary general of Komeito, said in a TV program aired on Sunday that Kishida is likely to call a snap election providing he is reelected as the LDP president in September.


Ishii's remarks come with speculation lingering that Kishida will dissolve the lower house in April as three by-elections to fill vacant seats in the chamber are slated to take place late that month, although the premier has denied the possibility.


Kishida's LDP has come under intense scrutiny amid allegations that some of its factions, including the one he formerly led, neglected to report portions of their incomes from fundraising parties and created slush funds for years.


The current four-year terms for lower house members expire in October 2025 unless Kishida dissolves the chamber. Under Japan's Constitution, the prime minister has the authority to decide whether to dissolve the lower house.


Ishii said there is a "non-zero" chance that Kishida will dissolve the lower house by the end of the ongoing parliamentary session through June 23, adding, "The key is whether approval ratings for the Cabinet will rise" by tackling the slush funds scandal.


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