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|Monday, June 26, 2000, updated at 08:51(GMT+8)|
Japan's Ruling Coalition Wins Absolute Majority in Parliamentary PollsJapan's three-way ruling coalition won an absolute majority in Sunday's general election for the House of Representatives by easily clearing the 269-seat mark in the 480-seat lower house, setting the stage for Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori to stay on in office.
The ruling bloc, comprising the LDP, the New Komeito party and the New Conservative Party (NCP), gained a combined 271 seats, which will allow it to pass bills at all lower house standing
committees even without the chairman's vote.
The result is much higher than the target of a 254-seat stable majority in the lower house set by the ruling bloc.
But the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), led by Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, lost its simple majority, garnering 233 seats, a bit higher than the 229-seat goal that LDP Secretary General Hiromu Nonaka had set for the ruling party. The New Komeito party and the NCP captured 31 seats and seven seats respectively.
Although the LDP, the dominant party in the coalition, fell short of a lone majority in the lower house, Mori will likely remain Japan's prime minister as senior officials of the three parties pledged to stick to the alliance and have Mori stay on as premier.
The LDP was followed by the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) with 127 seats. The results also showed the other three opposition parties -- the Liberal Party (LP), the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP)-- won 22, 20 and 19 seats respectively.
A total of 1,404 candidates were vying for the 480 seats in the lower chamber, 300 in single-seat constituencies and the remaining 180 in the proportional representation section. The number of seats was cut from 500 due to electoral reforms.
The final turnout among the record-high 107 million eligible voters in the election was 62.49 percent, the second lowest on record, the Home Affairs Ministry said.
From the LDP, Wataru Takeshita, younger brother of late former Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita, and Yuko Obuchi, daughter of late former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, won the races for their respective districts in Shimane and Gunma prefectures.
Analysts said one reason that the ruling coalition managed to maintain control of the lower chamber was it's campaign promise of stability for economic recovery.
Throughout the election campaign, the coalition portrayed itself as the key to stability needed for a full-fledged economic recovery, and it appears to have worked with part of the
electorate wary of drastic change, they said.
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