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Eight to participate in Governor’s election

Date Posted: 2002-11-02

To everyone’s surprise eight people have notified the Election Administration Committee (E.A.C.) of their intention to take part in the Okinawa gubernatorial election scheduled for Nov. 17. The deadline for hopefuls to officially announce their candidacy is today.

The E.A.C. held an unprecedented meeting on Oct. 25 and five candidates attended. Two more contacted the committee by 29th announcing their intentions to participate. One more person picked up an application at the committee office the same day claiming that he too would participate.

According to law, the committee gives each candidate ¥3 million subsidy to cover election costs. Candidates who don’t gain at least 10 percent of the vote, must return the money. That did not deter any of the hopefuls. “We informed all of them about the law, and every one of them said that they are aware of the regulation, but that would not deter them,” a committee member said.

The increase in the number of participants caused other problems too. The candidates are allowed to paste their election posters only on official boards provided by the prefecture. Anticipating five candidates, the prefecture had prepared billboards accommodating six posters in good time, but now they have to add two more slots in each of the 2,400 poster boards at the cost of ¥4,000 each. That will increase the cost to the prefecture by an additional ¥9.6 million.

Some members of the E.A.C. privately doubt that all eight will show up by the deadline. “I’m wondering how serious these people are. Even when we told that they may lose ¥3 million, every one of them said that it does not matter because they would win. At least there seems to be plenty of confidence,” a member of the committee said.

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