Japan’s ruling LDP to select premier Sep 22

September 2nd, 2008 - 1:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Sep 2 (DPA) Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said Tuesday it would elect its new party president and successor to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who stepped down Monday, as soon as Sep 22.The LDP president would automatically become the nation’s prime minister because the LDP and its coalition partner, the New Komeito party, hold an overwhelming majority in parliament’s powerful lower chamber, Japan’s House of Representatives.

Taro Aso, LDP general secretary and former contender for the LDP helm, was first to announce his candidacy in the party election earlier Tuesday.

“I have an idea of what I have to do, and I’d like to execute it,” Aso said at a press conference Tuesday.

The 67-year-old hawkish politician was seen as a frontrunner to succeed Fukuda when he was appointed as the premier’s right-hand man last month in a Cabinet reshuffle.

Fukuda, 72, announced Monday night he decided to step down as prime minister in the face of low public support.

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