The Liberal Democratic Party told its coalition partners Thursday that it needs time to form a consensus on granting suffrage to permanent foreign residents, and that it will be impossible to submit the bill during the current session, a New Komeito executive said.
New Komeito Secretary General Tetsuzo Fuyushiba quoted Kaoru Yosano of the LDP as saying that he will try to persuade LDP members opposed to the bill by holding study meetings on minority voting rights so that the party can eventually submit a joint bill on the issue.
Yosano also said the efforts would take time, and that it is not impossible to jointly submit the bill to the current extraordinary Diet session, according to Fuyushiba.
The discussions came during a meeting of the secretaries general of the LDP, New Komeito and the Liberal Party and Yosano, who heads the LDP’s study team on election system reform.
Fuyushiba told Yosano that he will consider the request, but added that New Komeito cannot wait for a long period of time.
Both New Komeito and the Liberal Party have agreed to submit the bill even without the LDP, the largest party in the tripartite coalition.
During Friday’s meeting, New Komeito also proposed to the other two parties six ideas for electoral reform, according to Fuyushiba.
The proposals include prohibiting Diet members elected through proportional representation from transferring to another party until the end their tenures, Fuyushiba said.
Another proposal is banning single-seat constituency candidates who fail to win the legally designated number of qualifying votes from winning seats through proportional representation.
Under the current system, a candidate running in a single-seat constituency can concurrently be registered on his party’s list for proportional representation.
New Komeito also proposed allowing a candidate to use Web sites for election campaigning, according to Fuyushiba.
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