by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA
SINGAPORE – Singaporeans begin to cast their votes for the 2020 General Election as 1,100 polling stations open throughout the republic at 8 a.m. today.
The 18th General Election for Singapore and the 13th since independence in 1965 are being held in a “new normal” with safe distancing regulations and restrictions amidst the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
Dubbed as a “critical election”, it will shape the way forward for Singaporeans in facing a shady outlook triggered by the deadly Coronavirus which has already infected more than 12 million people worldwide.
A solo independent candidate and 11 political parties including the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), are competing for 17 Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and 14 Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) to fill 93 parliamentary seats.
The 10 other parties are the Workers’ Party, the Progress Singapore Party, the Singapore Democratic Party, Peoples Voice, National Solidarity Party, Reform Party, Singapore People’s Party, People’s Power Party, Red Dot United, and Singapore Democratic Alliance.
With a total of 2,653,942 electors, this is the second consecutive general election in which the PAP has fielded candidates in all 31 electoral divisions.
Among the hotly contested seats are two five-member GRCs namely Al-Junied where the Workers’ Party is incumbent, and West Coast which the PAP and the newly-formed Progress Singapore Party led by its chief Dr Tan Cheng Bock, will fight for.
For the five-member Ang Mo Kio GRC, PAP’s secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong, who is the Prime Minister, and his team are contesting against the Reform Party led by its chief, Kenneth Andrew Jeyaretnam.
Only Pioneer SMC and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC will see a three-cornered fight in the general election.
In the 2015 general election, which saw all seats contested for the first time since independence, PAP swept 83 out of 89 seats, winning 69.9 percent of the popular vote, up by 9.8 points.