Ruling party heavyweight Akira Amari has indicated that he may call on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to decide to hold simultaneous elections of both chambers of the Diet this summer, depending on tactics of opposition parties.
“At the moment, the prime minister is not considering double elections at all,” Amari, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Election Strategy Committee, said in an interview. “But I would have to take the stance of proposing any measure to Prime Minister Abe with the aim of having the LDP achieve an election victory if opposition parties join hands only for the sake of election.”
A triennial election for the Upper House is set to be held this summer. Double elections would take place if the prime minister, who doubles as LDP president, dissolves the Lower House and sets a subsequent general election timed to coincide with the Upper House vote.
Amari said the first goal for the LDP and its coalition partner, Komeito, in the upcoming Upper House election is not losing their combined majority in the chamber. The ruling coalition also has a majority of the seats in the Lower House.
“We intend to win a stable majority in the Upper House,” Amari said, adding that the parties also aim hold chairmanships of key committees.
In Upper House elections, half of the seats are up for grabs. Member serve six-year terms.