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Shinzo Abe, the new president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has initiated the process of bringing back into the fold 13 former party members ousted for opposing Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s postal privatization agenda, sources said.

The sources said the 13 lawmakers, now independents in the House of Representatives, will be able to rejoin the party if they support postal privatization in the upcoming extraordinary Diet session.

In one scenario under consideration, the sources said, the rebels will form an intraparliamentary group and return to the party after the Diet session ends in mid-December.

Some senior LDP lawmakers in the House of Councilors are demanding the return of the postal rebels by as early as October, the sources said.

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