By Kiyoshi Takenaka
TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo residents went to the polls on Sunday to elect members of their metropolitan assembly just 19 days before the Olympics start, as polls showed that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of the first Minister Yoshihide Suga would likely win the vote.
The choice of the capital, in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, will have little impact on the long-planned Games, but it is important as a benchmark for the lower house elections to be held in October.
Suga’s term as party chairman will expire at the end of September, and a good performance by his party in the Tokyo elections could help him win another term, analysts say.
The head of a ruling party is practically destined to become Prime Minister of Japan.
A recent poll by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper showed that 23% of those polled said they would vote for the PLD candidates, compared to 17% from the Tokyo Citizens First party and 8% from the Japanese Communist Party.
The Tokyo Citizens First match wants the Olympics to be held without spectators and the Japanese Communist Party wants them canceled, while Suga has said that he intended to hold the Games but would not hesitate to ban spectators if he considers it. necessary.
Tokyo Citizens First is now the largest party in the metropolitan assembly with 46 of its 127 seats, followed by the PLD with 25. The regional party formed by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike won a landslide victory in the last elections of 2017.
The Tokyo Olympics, postponed a year due to the virus outbreaks, begin on July 23.
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