Tokyo: Yoshihide Suga was elected as the new head of Japan’s ruling party on Monday, virtually guaranteeing him parliamentary election as the country’s next prime minister.
Suga received 377 votes in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party election to pick a successor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who announced last month that he would resign due to health problems.
The other two contenders received a combined 157 votes.
The expected victory in the party vote by Suga, currently the chief Cabinet secretary of Abe’s government, all but guarantees his election in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday because of the majority held by the Liberal Democrats’ ruling coalition.
Despite his low-key image as Abe’s right-hand man, Suga is actually known for his iron-fist approach to getting jobs done as a policy coordinator and influencing bureaucrats by using the centralised power of the prime minister’s office.