Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has dissolved Parliament. The move paves the way for a snap election on December 14.
Abe is hoping to get a new mandate for his struggling economic reforms and is delaying an unpopular tax hike.
Doubts have been cast over his strategy after data showed this week that the economy had slipped into recession in the third quarter.
Though surveys show Abe has waning support, his Liberal Democratic Party are still expected to win, and the timing may be crucial.
“Maybe it’s a very harsh way of putting it but it’s a very cynical move on the part of the governing parties to prioritise their own interest before the one of the country and the voters. And the voters are not given a real choice because the opposition parties are disunited, and they don’t really have electoral campaign promises that are worked out,” explained Koichi Nakano, International politics Professor at Sophia University.
Abe said he would resign if his coalition fails to win a simple majority, though experts dismissed this as almost impossible. However, his position could be weakened if his party loses too many seats.