Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s long-governing party comfortably won Friday’s general elections expected amid the coronavirus pandemic but faced with a setback since the resistance produced minor gains.
Lee stated his People’s Action Party procured 83 parliamentary seats, keeping its overwhelming bulk with 89 percent of the total seats, but its favorite vote dipped to 61 percent. The Workers’ Party, the sole resistance having a presence in Parliament, increased its seats in six to 10 — the largest success for the resistance since independence.
It marked a decrease from the PAP’s functionality from 2015 surveys when it required 93 percent of seats and almost 70 percent of the overall vote. Many key PAP leaders lost, including two former ministers.
Lee predicted the polls before April 2021, when his administration’s mandate expires.
“In the Singapore context, this can be a defeat (such as PAP),” said Bridget Welsh, an honorary researcher at Malaysia’s University of Nottingham. “Worst seat functionality and reduction of the vote in an election they predicted early in a pandemic wrongly believing the tragedy would help them”
However, it has also been criticized for tight government management, media censorship, and application of oppressive legislation and civil lawsuits against dissidents.
The PAP can be among the world’s longest-serving celebrations — after people in China and North Korea.
Lee, who has dominated since 2004, pledged early Saturday to browse Singapore throughout the virus catastrophe. “I am decided to hand over Singapore complete, and in good working order to another,” he explained.
Only weeks before, Singapore emerged out of a two-month lockdown geared toward controlling among Asia’s worst coronavirus outbreaks. The small state of 5.8 million individuals has reported over 45,000 cases, the majority of them foreign workers residing in crowded dormitories which were overlooked in the first period of its emergency management.
Voting at Singapore is mandatory and turnout in Friday’s election was 96 percent.