Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi is almost certain to win re-election as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, easily defeating rivals Koichi Kato and Taku Yamasaki, in a vote by party members today.

Once Obuchi can claim a two-year term as LDP president, he is expected to accelerate talks for establishing a new tripartite coalition among the LDP, the Liberal Party and New Komeito, which together will account for a stable majority in both chambers of the Diet.

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