AKB48 will not be holding its annual Senbatsu General Election in 2019.
The elections have become a staple for AKB48 and its sister group, and determines who fans deem to its most popular idols.
No reason was given for why an election will not be held this year. The announcement did not specifically address whether the election will be held in future years.
The Senbatsu General Election was one of the factors that helped propel AKB48 to its mass popularity. Fans could purchase the group's single to receive a ballot for the election. Because people bought multiple singles to cast multiple ballots, AKB48's sales figure saw a sharp increase, which in turn made the group more popular.