Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told senior members of his party that he’ll dissolve the Lower House of the Diet on Thursday, which will lead to a snap general election.
Abe just met with Liberal Democratic Party executives.
He told them he wants a public mandate on how to spend the expected revenue from a long-delayed consumption tax hike now scheduled for late 2019.
The revenue is earmarked for social security for the elderly. But Abe wants to divert about 18 billion dollars to fund social security programs like childcare and education. He says that will benefit all generations.
Abe’s decision to call an election comes as his cabinet has received an uptick of support in recent polls.
The rate had plunged to its lowest level in July following a series of alleged influence-peddling scandals that dogged his cabinet for weeks.
Abe wants to dissolve the Lower House as it reconvenes without delivering a policy speech or taking questions. Opposition lawmakers are criticizing the move saying the Diet should debate the scandals. Abe’s move comes as the main opposition party is reorganizing under new leadership.
And Tokyo’s governor just made a surprise announcement that she will become the leader of a new political party at the national level.
Election day is expected to happen on October 22nd
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to dissolve the lower house of parliament at the start of the extraordinary session on Thursday, a senior lawmaker of the Liberal Democratic Party said, paving the way for a snap election for the lower house.