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Singapore`s opposition wins by-election

The opposition Workers` Party won Singapore`s single constituency by-election on Saturday night.

Singapore: The opposition Workers` Party won Singapore`s single constituency by-election tonight, after a ruling party lawmaker resigned from the seat over an extramarital affair.
Lee Li Lian of the Workers` Party won the North-East Punggol East by-election, taking 16,038 of the valid votes, defeating the ruling People`s Action Party (PAP) by a narrow margin in a four-corner contest.
PAP`s Koh Poh Koon received 12,856 votes.

The two other contestants, Reform Party`s Kenneth Jeyaretnam, took 353 votes and Singapore Democratic Alliance`s Desmond Lim had 168 votes.

Total votes cast was 29,832, with 417 rejected votes, reported the Channel News Asia.

The by-election came after ruling PAP`s member of parliament Michael Palmer resigned over an extramarital affair on January 9, 2013.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulated Lee and the Workers` Party for winning the by-election.

"I respect the choice of Punggol East voters," he said in a statement.
The by election has little impact on the ruling PAP which has an absolute majority in parliament.

But it reflected people`s displeasure with the PAP over issues such as increasing number of foreign workers, rising costs of housing and transportation, political observers said.

Singapore`s economy, though slowed down by the global economic woes, was still highly dependent on foreign workers in the heavy duty sectors such as construction and services, while foreigners` investments in residential sector has raised the costs of housing.

The increasing number of foreigners have also over-loaded the public transportation, observers say.