Japanese PM criticises merger between main opposition, new Kibo no To party ahead of snap elections

ANI | Updated: Sep 29, 2017 04:14 IST

Tokyo [Japan], September 29 (ANI): The leader of the main opposition party in Japan has announced it would not field any candidates in next month's snap election.

Instead, Seiji Maehara, the leader of the Democratic Party, urged members to run as candidates for a new party called Kibo no to (Party of Hope) which was launched only the day before by popular Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike.

The move is being seen as a bid to form a united political ?front in attempts to topple Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in snap elections set for October 22.

Following the announcement, Abe criticised what Japanese media has called a de-facto merger between the main opposition and the new Kibo no To party.

On Monday, Abe had officially confirmed snap elections next month.

The PM appeared to be capitalising on a recent surge in popularity following a strong stance against North Korea firing ballistic missiles over Japan.

This was followed by Koike's announcement of the dynamic new Kibo no To party, which pledged to "transform the political landscape by balancing bold reform with a conservative ethos."

Abe dissolved the parliament on Thursday and confirmed the date for the election, thereafter. (ANI)