Former Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone was selected Wednesday leader of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Upper House caucus after a tie vote with an opponent backed by many senior lawmakers of the opposition party.
Nakasone, 64, said he will try to bring in young blood to the LDP leadership and enhance its influence in the Upper House, which is now dominated by the opposition camp after the July 11 election.
In the runup to the caucus election, he urged that the LDP eliminate its entrenched system of seniority- and faction-based promotions.
His opponent was Shuzen Tanigawa, 74.
Tanigawa entered the race with the support of executives from major LDP factions led by Nobutaka Machimura, Fukushiro Nukaga and Makoto Koga. His loss may lead to a remake of the LDP’s internal pecking order, analysts say.
The election, held for the first time since 1997, ended in a draw with Nakasone and Tanigawa both winning 40 votes. The new chief was chosen by lottery in accordance with party rules.
The LDP went several years without bothering to hold an election for caucus leader because some heavyweights had absolute power over who filled the post.