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2017 Lower House Election / Koike rejects latest request that she run

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Kibo no To (Party of Hope) leader and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, center left, and Democratic Party leader Seiji Maehara speak to reporters after their talks in Tokyo on Thursday.

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, leader of Kibo no To (Party of Hope), on Thursday declined a request by her counterpart in the Democratic Party, Seiji Maehara, that she run in the Oct. 22 House of Representatives election.

During their talks in Tokyo, Koike said she will discuss with other party founding members the question of who the party should endorse as its candidate for prime minister.

The two leaders reaffirmed their cooperation in the battle to defeat Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of the Liberal Democratic Party, Koike told reporters after the talks.

Regarding her party’s selection of the prime ministerial candidate, Koike noted that in 1994, the LDP chose Tomiichi Murayama, then leader of a socialist party now called the Social Democratic Party, as prime minister.

“Oil and water joined hands” at that time, she said, indicating the possibility that her party may form a coalition with other parties after the election.

“We’ll share policies and fight together” with politicians joining her party from the DP, Koike said. “With a tolerant heart, we’ll accept peers.”

Koike has repeatedly denied that she will run in the election, while some Kibo members want to see her in the race. Under law, the prime minister needs to be a member of the Diet.

Maehara told reporters that the lower house election decides who should be prime minister. Kibo needs to pick its prime ministerial candidate early if Koike does not run, he added.

The meeting was requested by Koike. Her party has announced 199 candidates for the election.Speech

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