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Abe to kick off snap poll campaign this week

LDP coalition hopes to come back to power with reduced majority

Published Sun, Nov 23, 2014 · 09:50 PM

Tokyo

JAPAN's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will this week kick off campaigning for what some are calling a "double or quits" snap election which could either see his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) emerge from the Dec 14 poll with its mandate doubled from the remaining two years to four years - or see the power of the Abe administration eroded or even ended.

The decision by Mr Abe to call an election that was not due until 2016 has earned him few plaudits but has provoked a chorus of criticism from rival political parties and others claiming that the move is a cynical political manoeuvre being made at public expense and which could backfire against the prime minister.

Japanese local politicians attacked the move over the weekend. "The dissolution (of Parliament) was meant to serve the LDP," Kyodo reported Shizuoka prefecture governor Heita Kwakatsu as saying. "I doubt whether it is necessary to spend over 60 billion yen (S$0.67 billion) on an election at …

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