Udayavni Special

Singapore Elections: Why one party dominates Singapore politics


Team Udayavani, Jul 11, 2020, 2:10 PM IST

Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) has retained power in Friday’s general election. The PAP, in power since 1965, won 83 of 93 parliamentary seats or 61.2% of the vote

Lee, 68, was re-elected from his Group Representation Constituency (GRC) of Ang Mo Kio. The prime minister led his party’s GRC team of Gan Thiam Poh, Darryl David, Ng Ling Ling and Nadia Ahmad Samdin.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was also re-elected. His team included Maliki Osman, Jessica Tan, Cheryl Chan and Tan Kiat How of the East Coast GRC

Lee hsein Loong is the son of Lee Kuan Yew who is country’s founding father and long-time ruler. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) has led Singapore since independence in 1965. Infact, People’s Action Party, has never lost an election before and has governed the city state since 1959

However, this time PAP won 83 of 93 parliamentary seats or 61.2% of the vote which is down from nearly 70% it had in the 2015 poll. The opposition Workers’ Party secured 10 seats which its best result.

Reasons for the ruling party to win election every single time

Voting is compulsory in Singapore, and around 2.65 million cast their votes in the election. The candidate who wins the most votes in each constituency is elected, and the number of seats is not proportionate to the vote share.

It is said that in some constituencies, candidates run in teams of up to six with at least one member from a minority group

The financial cost of running the election can also discourage the opposition as the candidates must put up election deposits of $9,675 to stand and they need to win more than one-eighth of total votes to get their deposit back.

The mainstream local media which has close ties to the government supports the government and state policies even during an election

Sources claim, PAP files fake law suit against opposition party leaders and also  spread false  rumours about them.

It is said that gerrymandering is a real problem because it does not have an independent electoral commission and nobody knows the basis for writing up the various constituencies

Also, the prime minister can call for an election, with presidential approval, at short notice, creating difficulties for the opposition to prepare.

Election amid Covid-19

Voters had to sanitise their hands and wear disposable gloves before receiving their ballot paper and proceeding to vote.

People were given two-hour slots during which they were recommended to vote to avoid crowding. Mobile polling teams took ballot boxes to citizens who had recently returned from other counties and were in quarantine.

 

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