Political Fund Scandal and Internal Attacks Threaten His Grip on Power

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Political Fund Scandal and Internal Attacks Threaten His Grip on Power

Kishida's Political Landscape Shaken by By-Election Losses

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's political landscape has been significantly shaken following the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) defeat in three recent by-elections. The losses, particularly in the Shimane No. 1 district, a long-held LDP stronghold, have raised questions about Kishida's leadership and the party's ability to stay in power.

The by-elections were seen as a referendum on Kishida's handling of the political fund scandal that has embroiled the LDP. The scandal, which involved unreported funds, led to the resignation of the LDP incumbent in the Nagasaki No. 3 district, triggering the by-election. Kishida faced criticism for his handling of the scandal, both from the public and within the LDP.

The LDP's losses in the by-elections have further destabilized the party and heightened internal attacks against Kishida. The opposition parties are expected to take a more confrontational stance on the issue of political fund reform, which could further complicate Kishida's position.

Kishida's ability to remain the "face" of the LDP for future elections is also in question. He will be seeking another term as LDP president in September, but the by-election losses have made LDP members more cautious about holding a general election before the party election.

With his base weakened and growing uneasiness among LDP lawmakers about his leadership, Kishida may ultimately be forced to abandon his candidacy for the presidency. The 2025 Diet elections, when the terms of both Lower House and Upper House members will expire, will be crucial for determining the future of Kishida's leadership and the LDP's hold on power.