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Ex-LDP leader Tanigaki won’t seek re-election in Lower House poll owing to spinal cord injury

Kyodo

Former Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki will not run in the upcoming Lower House election expected next month owing to his extended hospitalization following a cycling accident, sources said Wednesday.

The 72-year-old heavyweight has conveyed his intention to the ruling party’s local chapter of Kyoto Prefecture where his constituency is located, according to the sources.

Tanigaki suffered a spinal cord injury after falling from his bicycle in July last year when he was serving as the party’s secretary-general. He has been hospitalized since then.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly planning to dissolve the House of Representatives next week for a general election, possibly to take place on Oct. 22, according to government sources.

A former lawyer, Tanigaki was elected to the House of Representatives in 1983, serving 12 consecutive terms. He has previously held key posts including finance minister and justice minister.

Tanigaki is known as one of the rare LDP leaders who never became prime minister, as he headed the party while it was an opposition party between 2009 and 2012.