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JCP candidates returned in Shiga's by-elections

Two Japanese Communist Party candidates won seats in a by-election on January 29 for the local assembly of Higashi-Omi city, Shiga Prefecture.

In the election campaign, the JCP candidates received warm public support by calling for the maintenance of the free medical services for residents 65 and older, which the pre-merger two towns had.

JCP candidate Tago Tadashi got 1,304 votes in the former Town of Gamo (4 seats), 2.3 times than the votes he received in the previous election. The other JCP candidate Fujita Atsuko got 1,562 votes in the former Town of Notogawa (5 seats), 1.48 times her previous votes.

The election in the city's other constituencies was held in October 2005, and all four JCP candidates were returned.

The JCP now has six seats, raising the JCP share in the assembly to 18.8%.

The Komei Party, which held two seats in former Gamo Town, did not run a candidate.

When the merger plan was announced, citizens collected signatures demanding a referendum on it. But the petition was rejected by all parties except the JCP.

Tago and Fujita joined the petition drive, and stressed that the free medical charge system in former towns be maintained, and that an 8-billion yen project of television business be reviewed.

The two JCP candidates got support from former conservative assembly members and former town heads.
- Akahata, January 31, 2006

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