Japanese Premier Masayoshi Ohira, re-elected after an unprecedented battle in his own party, struck an early problem on Wednesday (7 November) as he set about forming his new administration.
Japanese Premier Masayoshi Ohira, re-elected after an unprecedented battle in his own party, struck an early problem on Wednesday (7 November) as he set about forming his new administration. As a result of the rift in his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) after his bitter power struggle with former Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, Mr. Ohira has still not named people to the important post of Chief Cabinet Secretary and three major party posts, including that of LDP Secretary-General.
SYNOPSIS: The challenge to Mr. Ohira and his government arose out of his party's poor showing in the Japanese general elections on the seventh of October. The LDP won 248 of the 511 lower house seats. In Tuesday 's (6 November) special session in the Diet, members were called upon to choose between Mr. Ohira and his opponent Mr. Fukuda.
It was the first time in Japan's eighty-five year parliamentary history that two men from the same party had contested the premiership in parliament. Mr. Ohira's LDP Party split into two factions after the general election.
Mr. Fukuda lost the premiership to Mr. Ohira last December. The flight between he and Mr. Ohira represented the most serious crisis to befall the LDP, a coalition of conservative group in its twenty-four year history. A month of intensive and often bitter wrangling failed to find a compromise between Mr. Fukuda and Mr. Ohira and, in the end, parliament had to settle the feud.
Parliament needed two ballots to settle the issue. On the first, where a majority of the house was needed, Mr. Ohira gained 135 votes and Mr. Fukuda 125 with the rest going to opposition candidates.
Under parliamentary rules, the two front men then proceeded to a simple run-off election which Mr. Ohira won.
Mr. Ohira retained his position both as leader of his Party and of the country despite the strong challenge from Mr. Fukuda.