Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will not run for the leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), Japanese media reported. This means that he will also step down as prime minister.
According to NHK TV, Yoshihide Suga informed leading activists of the Liberal Democratic Party that he would not participate in the elections of the PLD leader scheduled for September 29. The PLD holds most seats in the House of Representatives (the lower house of parliament) which means that its leader will almost certainly take office as prime minister.
Suga has held the office for a year, following the resignation of his predecessor Shinzo Abe, who resigned in September 2020, citing poor health as the cause.
Suga has faced criticism over the pandemic and the Olympics
Recently, Suga was increasingly criticized, among others. for insufficiently effective fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and conducting the Olympic Games despite epidemic threats. Polls show that his approval rate has dropped below 30 percent.
Suga planned to make changes to the government and party leadership, but according to sources cited by Reuters, these plans are no longer valid.
The position of PLD leader is interested in Fumio Kishida, former foreign minister and one of the leading critics of Suga’s policy.
The government plans to hold parliamentary elections on October 17th.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / BEHROUZ MEHRI / POOL