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Election date uncertainty causing officials to worry

Date Posted: 2008-10-10

Naha Cityís mayoral election is supposed to be November 16th, but nobodyís really sure if it will happen because the national government is still deliberating on when the countryís general elections will take place.

Prime Minister Taro Aso must make the decision, but hasnít done so, leaving local municipalities scratching their heads on what comes next. Aso has said he has higher priorities than setting an election date, a move that can cause difficulties for communities trying to schedule their own elections.

Naha City must, by law, hold an election between October 31st and November 29th. If the national elections are set for November 16th, Naha City must either change dates or try to combine the two elections. Combined elections, officials say, would cost taxpayers •66 million, but the central government would pay half.

For now, Naha City officials are continuing with plans for a November 16th local election, and taking aspirin for the headaches they say the uncertainty is causing.

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