Singapore ruling party sees record setback

Opposition supporters waving party flags in Singapore.

Opposition supporters waving party flags in Singapore.   | Photo Credit: Ore Huiying

Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) extended its unbroken rule at Friday’s election, but its vote share slipped near a record low as Opposition parties made historic inroads in a ballot held under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In power since 1965, the PAP had been widely expected to win and carry Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to what is likely his last victory before retirement as national leader.

The PAP had secured 83 out of 93 seats in Parliament. But the main Opposition Workers’ Party won the other 10, the most ever held by Opposition lawmakers, while the PAP’s popular vote fell to 61%, very near a record low.

Small shifts in the PAP’s popularity can lead to major policy changes. And in a city-state with tight controls over media and rules constricting free speech and assembly, among other obstacles to Opposition, supporters took the early indicators as a landmark show of strength.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 12:02:20 PM |

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