DPJ board brushes aside allegation of fraudulent voting

The election board of the Democratic Party of Japan has dismissed an allegation of vote fraud in the party’s leadership election last month, according to a report obtained Friday by Kyodo News.

The board has submitted the report to DPJ executives, including Yukio Hatoyama, who won the election.

But Upper House lawmaker Mitsuru Sakurai, a member of the DPJ board, said he has decided to withdraw from the organization because it failed to do its job properly.

“The report is false as the board did not check the ballot papers,” Sakurai said.

It was alleged that several groups and organizations paid a 1,000 yen registration fee to participate in the election in place of DPJ supporters.

According to the report, the board found that 47 people had been registered as supporters without their knowledge, and the listed addresses of about 800 supporters were the same as the groups and organizations in question.

But the report states voting was properly carried out under the supervision of national and local election boards.

But Sakurai said he found dozens of ballot papers supporting a particular candidate that appeared to have been cast by the same person, as the handwriting on each was the same.

Calls have mounted among DPJ lawmakers for the party for full investigation to regain public trust.

The DPJ has been in turmoil since the presidential election and the subsequent nomination of new party executives.