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2017 poll ruled in unconstitutional state

Jiji Press NAGOYA (Jiji Press) — The Nagoya High Court ruled on Wednesday that the October 2017 House of Representatives election was held in a state in which a constitutional requirement that the value of every vote be equal was not met.

The ruling was the 11th among a total of 16 lawsuits filed by two groups of lawyers with high courts and high court branches across the country to nullify the election.

It was the first ruling that the election for the lower chamber of the Diet took place in a so-called state of unconstitutionality. The Nagoya court still rejected the demand to invalidate the election’s results.

In the Oct. 22 lower house poll, vote-value disparities between single-seat constituencies stood at a maximum 1.98 times.

All 10 rulings issued earlier found that the election was constitutional, with the maximum gap falling below 2.0 times for the first time since the single-seat constituency system was introduced for the lower house in the 1990s.

In 2011, the Supreme Court judged that the 2009 lower house election, in which the maximum vote-value gap exceeded 2.0 times, was held in a state of unconstitutionality.

Although the maximum gap has fallen below 2.0 times thanks to measures taken by the Diet since then, it was still “very close to 2.0 times,” said judge Masayuki Fujiyama, who presided over the trial at the court in Nagoya. The gap cannot be “overlooked easily,” he said.

Rulings on the five other lawsuits will be issued by the end of March. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a unified ruling within this year.Speech

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