Japan's Suga poised to win party race, headed for premiership

TEHRAN, Sep. 14 (MNA) – Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was poised to win a ruling party leadership election on Monday, virtually ensuring that he replaces Abe this week in the nation’s top job.

Suga, 71, a longtime loyal aide of outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has said he would pursue Abe’s key economic and foreign policies, is expected to get the bulk of votes from 394 Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmakers and is likely to win a majority of 141 votes from the party’s local chapters, Reuters reported.

Suga was on track to win over 70% of the MPs’ votes and was leading among local chapters, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The winner of the LDP race is virtually certain to be elected prime minister in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday because of the LDP’s majority in the lower house. He will serve out Abe’s term as party leader through September 2021.

Abe, Japan’s longest serving premier, said last month he would quit due to illness, ending a nearly eight-year term.

Suga has said he would continue Abe’s signature “Abenomics” strategy of hyper-easy monetary policy, government spending and reforms while juggling the problems of COVID-19 and a slumping economy, and confronting longer-term issues such as Japan’s aging population and low birthrate.

ZZ/PR

News Code 163490

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