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Naha City Assembly elections attract dozens of candidates

Date Posted: 2009-07-02

Voters in Naha City go to the polls Sunday to select a new Assembly, and they’ve plenty of options to choose from.

A total of 67 candidates have been campaigning this week for the 40 positions, including 26 who are making their initial forays into politics. There are 38 Assembly members seeking reelection, and another three former Assembly members are trying to get back into office.

Election campaigning is focusing on the viability of downtown Naha City, economic problems and children’s preschool waiting list cancellations. Financial issues are at the top, though, with candidates having to explain how they’ll deal with financial red ink in the city’s health and welfare accounts.

For Naha City Mayor Takeshi Onaga, who’s on his third term, Sunday’s election is about consolidation of power. His ruling power has 28 seats, while the opposition has 15. Onaga’s party has fielded a team of 38 candidates for the 40 seats, while the opposition candidates total 19. There are ten independent candidates.

By pure party affiliation, the LDP has 11 seats, Socialist Party four seats, the Communist Party seven, four for the Democratic Party of Japan, seven for Komeito, three for the People’s Socialist Party and two for a new party, Shinshinto.


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