While the recent Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) defeat in the lower house elections in Japan was indeed historic, this was not the first time post-World War Two (WWII) in which a government without the LDP had been formed.

It was 16 years ago, after the 1993 elections, that a government comprising a coalition of seven opposition parties was formed after the LDP failed to a obtain a majority of seats. However, this anti-LDP coalition government would collapse after only nine months in power.

The manner in which this opposition coalition was formed and later collapsed and the subsequent consolidation of anti-LDP forces under the ‘new’ Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) present interesting comparisons and lessons for the opposition parties in Malaysia in today’s context.

The inability of the LDP to maintain...

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