It is a win that wiped away the pain of defeat from a year ago.

Fumio Kishida, who was once former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s handpicked successor, won the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election Wednesday, becoming the presumptive successor to Yoshihide Suga as the nation’s leader.

With no candidates obtaining a majority in the first round, the runoff was a head-to-head race between first-place Kishida and second-place Taro Kono, the vaccine czar and No. 1 choice for prime minister in public opinion polls.