Japanese cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga succeeds Shinzo Abe as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Suga is also likely to become Japan’s new prime minister.
LDP party members voted convincingly for 71-year-old Suga on Monday. He received 377 of the 534 votes.
Suga took on former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba and party policymaker Fumio Kishida. They both received less than a hundred votes.
The new party leader previously announced that he wants to call early elections if he has become prime minister.
Suga succeeds Abe, who is stepping down as prime minister due to his health. Abe is Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. He also resigned earlier in 2007 because of the intestinal problems that he is now suffering from.
The new party leader is seen as a stable political leader. Suga spoke out earlier when he ran, to continue on the same footing as Abe, for whom he was an important ally.