Former Prime Minister Suga Suggests Fumio Kishida Withdraw from LDP Presidential Election

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Former Prime Minister Suga Suggests Fumio Kishida Withdraw from LDP Presidential Election

Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has recommended that Fumio Kishida step back from the Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential election to be held in September, emphasizing the importance of rebuilding public trust through a party rebranding. During an online interview with Bungeishunju magazine on June 23, Suga expressed disappointment in Kishida's handling of the political fund scandal that implicated LDP factions, highlighting the need for him to take accountability for the issue.

The political fund scandal that rocked the LDP involved various factions and lawmakers failing to accurately report political funds acquired from fundraising events over an extended period. As a response to this scandal and to prevent similar incidents from reoccurring, the Diet recently passed revisions to the Political Fund Control Law. Nonetheless, opposition parties criticized these changes as insufficient due to perceived gaps and shortcomings in the legislation.

Suga's critical comments regarding Kishida and the LDP's response to the scandal have intensified internal pressures against the prime minister. Suga suggested that the LDP should have played a more proactive role in the parliamentary discussions on the revisions to the funding law, emphasizing the need for the party to demonstrate a genuine commitment to reform during the upcoming presidential election. While Kishida expressed his determination to participate in the election by mentioning unfinished tasks, there are already calls from some LDP members for his resignation.