July is a lucky month for Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike. On Sunday, the Tomin first no Kai, the party she founded last January, won the elections in the metropolitan capital. Last year, also in July, Koike was elected governor of the capital with a surprising victory against her former party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Koike’s party secured 49 seats out of 127, plus 6 tightly allied independents, while the party in the national government, the LDP, halved to 23 seats.
The Communist Party has confirmed its position as the main opposition force with 19 seats, two more than in previous elections. The Tomin first no kai – “Tokyo residents First” – will govern with the support of Komeito, a Buddhist- inspired party, without an alliance with the LPD.
This win is another step in Keiko’s political revenge, which last year accepted the nomination to Tokyo’s governor office, against the wishes of her party.
The governor has had a long career in the LDP: she was minister of the environment and of defense and also tried to win the presidency of the party and the leadership of the country in 2008, but failed. This failed attempt seemed to be the cause of the break with the leadership and Abe in particular.