The polls closed in the elections in Japan with the country’s governing coalition expected to secure a weakened majority.
National broadcaster NHK predicted that the LDP-Komeito coalition would win between 239 and 288 seats in the lower house, more than the 233 needed to maintain control.
But it is unclear whether the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will win enough seats to rule on its own.
Mr. Kishida, 64, became leader of the ruling LDP earlier this month.
The party has dominated Japanese politics for decades but has been criticized for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
His predecessor, Yoshihide Suga, resigned in September after just one year in office. The resignation came amid plummeting poll ratings for the LDP following an unpopular push to continue with the Tokyo Olympics despite public concern over the rise in Covid-19 rates.
Mr. Kishida has long been targeting the role of prime minister and previously held the post of the country’s foreign minister from 2012 to 2017.
- Fumio Kishida wins the race to become Japan’s next PM
The LDP went to the general election holding 276 of the 465 seats up for grabs. The exit polls of the NHK broadcaster predict that it could go up to 212.
The Japanese parliament, known as the National Diet, comprises the Lower House of Representatives and an Upper House of Counselors.
Sunday’s vote was for the most powerful lower house, with an upper house vote scheduled for next year.
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