On September 1, the Democratic Party held an extraordinary party
convention to decide on a new party leader, and as a result Seiji
Maehara was elected as the new party President.
In voting on the day by DP House of Councillors and House of Representative (Diet) members (145 persons, 2 points each), prospective electoral candidates (128 persons, 1 point each) and those voting by post in a preliminary ballot early in the morning of September 1 (party members, supporters and voting local assembly members), Maehara received a total of 502 points and Yukio Edano a total of 332 points. As Maehara gained a majority of the total 834 points available, the Chair of the DP President’s Election Committee, Mieko Kamimoto, declared Maehara the winner. This announcement was acknowledged by a round of applause from the convention floor.
Speech by the newly elected president
On the afternoon of September 1 at the Democratic Party Extraordinary Party Convention, member of the House of Representatives Seiji Maehara, having been elected as the third President of the Democratic Party, made a speech to the convention floor. He acknowledged, “Even if I call for a change of government here, at the moment, people will wonder what I am talking about. There seems to be no alternative to the Liberal Democratic Party. On the other hand, there is growing hope for something different, even though it is not clear what that might be. This is the perilous political situation that we must work together to change”. He then outlined the kind of society Japan should aim for: “If we can transform a cold society based on self-responsibilities, people’s worry will turn to assurance and hold out hope. Then, we can create a new virtuous circle in society.”
For that purpose, starting today, my motto is “One for All”. For
the sake of all of us, and all citizens, let’s devote ourselves to
do this work.”
Expressing his gratitude to Edano, Maehara called on all supporters of his rival “to join us in overcoming our difficult situation and blazing a new path for the Japanese people”. He called on the Party to “do our best to make this a day we can look back on and say, ‘it was a new beginning for politics in our country’.”