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Governatorial election looms, opposition in disarray

Date Posted: 2002-08-15

With opposition largely in disarray the November 17 Okinawa gubernatorial election seems more and more to become a mere formality to give the incumbent Keiichi Inamine the second term in the office.

The five-party opposition group held a meeting Aug. 8, to discuss the possibility of nominating Kantoku Teruya, 57, as their candidate, but the plan fell through when the communists refused to endorse Teruya. Although the other four reformist parties were still ready to name Teruya, he refused. “Without support from the communist party there’s no possibility for me to defeat the incumbent, so I’m not willing to take part in the election,” Teruya said.

With their refusal to join behind Teruya it is likely that the communists will nominate their own candidate for the election.

With Teruya’s refusal the opposition is said to be considering naming the former vice governor Masami Yoshimoto, 65, as their candidate, but no decision has been made yet. However, with the reformist parties split, the possibility that Inamine could be defeated in the coming election.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrats are planning to establish the “Prefecture Citizens’ Society” on Aug. 28 to campaign for the re-election of Governor Inamine. Liberal Democratic members of the Prefectural Assembly are scheduled to formally ask the governor to be available for re-election in the assembly meeting scheduled for Sep. 2. Inamine’s campaign head office is opening on Sep. 10.

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