[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Aso quits after party defeat
Taro Aso officially resigns leadership of Japan's LDP after historic election loss.
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2009 07:19 GMT
Taro Aso led his Liberal Democratic Party to an historic defeat in Sunday's election [AFP]

Taro Aso, Japan's defeated prime minister, has officially resigned the leadership of his party following its trashing in Sunday's general election.

"I find it quite unfortunate that I've lost quite a few colleagues, and as party head, I feel this responsibility quite heavily," he told a news conference on Monday at the headquarters of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

"For the LDP, I feel that we should have a new party leader election and aim for a new start," he added.

The party picked Taro Aso as its fourth leader in four years, hoping he would turn around its sagging fortunes and preserve its grip on power.

"The most important thing is rejuvenating our party."

Taro Aso,
outgoing Japanese PM

But instead, he led the party which had governed Japan for an almost unbroken five decades, to a historic general election defeat.

"I have no plan to run for re-election," Aso said, adding that "the most important thing is rejuvenating our party."

His successor is expected to be named late next month.

Although voters gave the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) a landslide win, most voters were seen as venting dissatisfaction with the LDP and the political status quo more than they were endorsing the policies of the untested opposition.

The LDP have governed Japan for virtually all of the past 54 years, barring a short break in the early 1990s.

But many voters saw the conservative, pro-business party as out of touch and ineffective in its handling of Japan's worst recession since the Second World War.

Aso himself was also seen as a liability after a series of policy flip-flops and gaffes ravaged his approval ratings, sparking turmoil in the LDP and alienating voters.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
Study says tipping point reached as poachers kill 7 percent of African elephants annually; birth rate is 5 percent.
Zimbabwe's leader given rotating chairmanship of 15-member nation bloc a year after he won disputed presidential polls.
join our mailing list