Tokyo Gov. Koike to resign as Party of Hope leader

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-14 18:54:38|Editor: pengying
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TOKYO, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said Tuesday she will resign as the leader of the Party of Hope and leave matters of national politics to the party's Diet members.

"I want to leave national political matters to Diet members. I founded the party, but I will step down as representative and support you all in an appropriate manner," Koike was quoted as saying at a party general meeting on Tuesday evening.

The party also endorsed its new leadership at the meeting.

Koike's announcement comes following a dismal performance by the Party of Hope in the general election here on Oct. 22.

The run up to the election had seen the Tokyo governor pledge to wrestle power away from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Koike had drawn flak for standing in the election as a non-parliamentarian and for remarks she had made during campaigning that were described as being arrogant by the public.

She was also criticized for her part in a bungled realignment of opposition forces and lost some public support for her decision not to absorb liberal members from the Democratic Party.

This was after former leader Seiji Maehara disbanded the main opposition party for its members to run on Koike's party ticket.

Far from toppling the ruling LDP, however, the Party of Hope ended up conceding ground to the now main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), led by former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano.

Edano's newly-formed party took on the liberals from the Democratic Party spurned by Koike.

As a result, the Party of Hope won just 50 of the 465 seats available in the lower house election, compared to the CDPJ's 54 seats.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) emerged from the election with 283 seats in the lower chamber of Japan's bicameral parliament, and their junior Komeito coalition partner won 29.

The LDP on its own secured well beyond the 261 threshold defined as a "stable majority" in the 465-member lower house.

The Party of Hope performed particularly poorly in the capital, where it lost in all but one district of the 23 in Tokyo in which it fielded candidates in the general election.

The Party of Hope selected its new leader Yuichiro Tamaki, a fourth-term lower house member, last week in a 53 to 39 vote, with Tamaki winning the post over his only challenger Hiroshi Ogushi, a fifth-term lower house member.

Tamaki's victory followed Koike saying she wanted to focus on her role as Tokyo governor in the wake of the crushing defeat in last month's general election.

Tamaki told party lawmakers after he was selected as co-leader that the party needed to "seriously and humbly face up to what happened and ask ourselves why we lost."

He added that he wanted to grow the party into a force that can "open up a future for Japan."