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Singapore to hold early general election

 Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP) on Wednesday indicated that the country is set to go for an early general election, with a top party leader saying "we are in election season."



Singapore: Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP) on Wednesday indicated that the country is set to go for an early general election, with a top party leader saying "we are in election season."

A day after Singapore celebrated its 50th National Day, PAP organising secretary Ng Eng Hen, who is also the country's Defence Minister, said announcements will detail members of parliament retiring and slate of candidates who will contest the next election during the next two weeks, The Straits Times reported.

"Over the next two weeks...PAP will be making a number of announcements," Ng said. A number of PAP MPs have already announced their retirement from politics.

There are speculations voting across the island of 5.5 million people will likely be held early next month. The general election is not due till January 2017.

Last month, the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee announced boundary change for the formation of constituencies.

The parliament has 89 elected MPs from May 2011 general election when the PAP won 81 seats out of the 87 contested.

The PAP has ruled Singapore since 1959, from assembly to parliament. But voters are showing discontent mainly over widening wealth gap and influx of foreign workers.

Opposition parties have been working on plans to contest the next election, some working out arrangements among themselves to avoid multi-party contests in challenging PAP.

With such arrangements, the stage is likely set for straight contest between the PAP and Opposition parties.

The National Solidarity Party Secretary General Hazel Poa said "multi-cornered contests are likely to dilute opposition votes and reduce the chances of a more diverse Parliament".

Local media reports also had the Singaporeans First party secretary-general Tan Jee Say stating his party would avoid a three-corner fight.

While the MPs are elected for a five-year term, the parliamentary system allows for nominated MPs, usually those having garnered highest number of votes among the losers, on two-and-a-half year term.

Currently, one seat is vacant following the death of Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in March.

From Zee News

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