LDP Drafts Rule Changes to Hold Members Accountable for Their Treasurers’ Crimes; Expulsion Possible in Extreme Cases

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Liberal Democratic Party’s headquarters in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

A draft of the Liberal Democratic Party’s revisions to its internal rules, launched in the wake of the current political funding scandal, stipulates that members will be held accountable for the actions of the treasurer of their individual political group, with the possibility of expulsion from the party in extreme cases.

Members will be subject to sanctions if the treasurer is either arrested, indicted or found guilty of violating the Political Funds Control Law, the draft states.

The proposed amendments to the party’s rules and regulations and its governance code are in response to a series of scandals involving violations of the law by the party’s factions.

According to the draft, violators can be requested to leave the party, or suspended from holding a ranking office in the party, if their treasurer is arrested or indicted for violating the law. If found guilty, the party member is subject to expulsion or a recommendation to leave the party.

The draft will be voted on for approval at the party’s convention on March 17.

Sanctions against a party member will be rescinded if the treasurer is found to have committed their crime with the intent to defraud the lawmaker.

The current disciplinary rules do not clearly specify actions against lawmakers when their treasurers are convicted of a crime. Following the recent scandal, the LDP aims to clarify the code and demonstrate its tough stance as the ruling party.

Meanwhile, the LDP will add the wording “strict response to problems over political funding” to the basic principles of its governance code, which is the pillar of its management.

The draft also states that the party will take strict action against lawmakers and policy groups — referring to factions — subject to be in violation of the law and demand an immediate explanation and that they live up to their political responsibilities.