Singapore’s ruling party holds on to power but faces setback

SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s long-governing party comfortably won Friday’s general elections as expected amid the coronavirus pandemic, but faced a setback as the opposition made minor gains.

Lee said his People’s Action Party secured 83 parliamentary seats, retaining its overwhelming majority with 89% of the total seats, but its popular vote dipped to 61%. The Workers’ Party, the only opposition with a presence in Parliament, increased its seats from six to 10 — the biggest victory for the opposition since independence.

In this photo provided by Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong waves as he casts his vote at Alexandra Primary School Friday, July 10, 2020 in Singapore. PHOTO: AP

It marked a decline in the PAP’s performance from 2015 polls when it took 93% of seats and nearly 70% of total vote. Several key PAP leaders also lost, including two former ministers.

“It’s not as strong a mandate as I hoped for but it’s a good mandate,” Lee told a news conference. “The results reflect the pain and uncertainty that Singaporeans feel in this crisis … this was not a feel-good election but one where people are facing real problems and expect more rough weather to come.”

More details on Borneo Bulletin Sunday