Senior Japan ruling party member suggests early election, says Kyodo News

Japan's new leader could immediately dissolve the lower house and call a snap election.
Japan's new leader could immediately dissolve the lower house and call a snap election. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's next prime minister could call a snap general election shortly after taking office next week, a senior member of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said on Sunday (Sept 6), according to Kyodo News.

"Seeking a public mandate with a new Cabinet that is fresh and enjoys high public support is one option on timing," LDP General Council Chief Shunichi Suzuki said on a TV programme, Kyodo reported.

After forming a Cabinet, the new leader could immediately dissolve the lower house and call a snap election, Mr Suzuki said, according to Kyodo News.

The LDP will elect a new leader on Sept 14 to replace Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who abruptly announced his intention to resign on Aug 28.

The lower house of Parliament is expected to convene on Sept 16 to choose a new prime minister, which is virtually guaranteed to be the LDP president because of the party's majority in the chamber.

Mr Yoshihide Suga, Mr Abe's Chief Cabinet Secretary and long-time loyal supporter, is the front runner to win the leadership vote and become the next premier.