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Shinzo Abe's party on track for big election win after his assassination

The Liberal Democratic Party to which Abe belonged is on track to win more than half of all contested seats

Published: July 10, 2022 3:17pm

Updated: July 10, 2022 4:51pm

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, which Shinzo Abe led until he stepped down as prime minister in 2020, is on track for a big win in Sunday's election, with the LDP and its conservative coalition partner expected to win up to two-thirds of contested races.

Abe was assassinated on Friday while he was giving a campaign speech.

With its junior partner party Komeito, the LDP's coalition won 87 of the 125 contested seats in the less-powerful Upper House of parliament, The New York Times reported. This gives the conservative coalition a supermajority with more than 70% of the Upper House.

"It's significant we were able to pull this election together at a time violence was shaking the foundations of the election," said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the leader of the LDP.

Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, had still had a significant influence on politics in the Asian nation.

"I have the responsibility to take over the ideas of former Prime Minister Abe," Kishida said at a rally Saturday.

Final results are due on Monday. 

In total, the LDP are on track to win at least 143 seats in the 248-member Upper House, The Associated Press reported.

With the boost in seats, Kishida is set to continue as prime minister without any interruptions until the scheduled 2025 election.

The prime minister said his top priorities will be national security, COVID-19, inflation and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"We absolutely refuse to let violence shut out free speech," Kishida said during his final campaign rally on Saturday. "We must demonstrate that our democracy and election will not back down on violence."

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