JAPAN: LONGEST SERVING PM RESIGNS

On Friday (28th August), Japan’s longest-serving PM Shinzo Abe resigned from his office citing poor health. Abe is currently 65 years old and has been fighting the disease ulcerative colitis for years now.

Abe was seen saying in a news conference “I cannot be prime minister if I cannot make the best decisions for the people. I have decided to step down from my post”.

There were questions already doing the rounds as to if Abe’s condition will allow him to stay in office till the end of the term that is in  September 2021. Two recent visits to the hospital within just a single week led to such speculations. The resignation is bound to kick start a race for leadership in currently in power party LDP (Liberal Democratic Party).

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In a maximum of two to three weeks, the party is expected to bring forward a candidate that will be formally elected in the Parliament and replace Abe for his remaining term in office as the Prime Minister of Japan.

After holding the office as the PM over just over a year Abe in 2007 handed over a sudden resignation due to Colitis which is a non-curable disease inflammatory bowel through which he suffers even now. Following this, he was re-elected in 2012 and then again in 2017 and 2019 proving to be quite a dominant political force in the country of Japan.

Abe said “For almost eight years I controlled my chronic disease, however, this year in June I had a regular check-up and there was a sign of the disease”. He further added “I made a judgment that I should not continue my job as prime minister. I need to fight the disease and need to be treated”.

His party, LDP also witnessed great success under his leadership. Considering that Japan isn’t a presidential system and the PM is chosen through the votes of parliamentarians the in-line LDP leader would not be facing much trouble since LDP thanks to Abe has a stronghold in the parliament.

Shinzo Abe will currently remain in office until a successor is chosen to take over.


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