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DP’s liberals mull forming new party

The Yomiuri ShimbunKibo no To (Party of Hope) and the Democratic Party are negotiating over whether Kibo no To will accept DP members as Kibo candidates in the upcoming House of Representatives election. Meanwhile, there are moves to establish a new party among left-leaning DP members who lost their seats due to the recent dissolution of the lower house, as they may be excluded from Kibo based on their differing stances on key policies.

On Saturday, recently incumbent lower house member Masaru Wakasa, an aide to Kibo no To leader Yuriko Koike, who also is the Tokyo governor, held negotiations with Koichiro Genba, the acting head of the DP’s general election strategy headquarters.

The DP is calling for the endorsement of all the expected 230 candidates who initially planned to run on the DP’s ticket, but Kibo no To intends to make selections based on prospective candidates’ positions on security and the Constitution.

Wakasa told reporters Saturday that Kibo no To will likely announce on Monday a list of more than 50 candidates on the party ticket, excluding DP members.

As there are presently no prospects for official Kibo no To endorsements of DP members, recently incumbent DP member and former lower house Vice Speaker Hirotaka Akamatsu told reporters in Nagoya on Saturday: “It’s easier to fight [the election] as an independent [candidate]. Forming a new party is also an option.”

Within the DP, Akamatsu leads the group related to the now-defunct Japan Socialist Party, to which about 20 liberal members belong. If he establishes a new party, some DP members who are dissatisfied with the coordinating of candidates will likely join it.

However, Akamatsu also expressed a view to wait and see how the coordination will turn out.Speech

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