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Singapore Elections 2020: Ruling People's Action Party retains power with reduced majority

Singapore Elections 2020: The PAP won 83 seats out of the total 93 parliamentary seats and its vote share stood at 61.2 percent.

Jul 13, 2020 12:19 IST
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Singapore Elections 2020:  The ruling People's Action Party (PAP) yet again scripted its victory in the Singapore Elections 2020. The final results showed that the PAP had retained power but its support was reported to have fallen to a record low. The general elections were held on July 10, 2020. 

The PAP won 83 seats out of the total 93 parliamentary seats and its vote share stood at 61.2 percent, which is down from almost 70 percent vote share in the 2015 General Elections. The main opposition party- Workers' Party secured 10 seats, which is its best result so far. 

The People's Action Party has remained in power in Singapore ever since the nation attained independence in 1965. However, its popularity has been falling in recent years.

Significance

The Singapore Elections 2020  were widely seen as a referendum on the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Key Highlights 

•  With PAP's victory, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will get another term in office. Lee Hsien Loong is the son of Singapore's long-time ruler and founding father  Lee Kuan Yew. 

•  Lee Hsien Loong has been serving as Singapore's Prime Minister since 2004. His next term is expected to be his last. 

•  The results of the current elections have showed a fall in support for Lee's party. The opposition Worker's Party has, on the other hand, seen a rise in popularity. The party by winning 10 seats secured its best result ever in a General election. 

•  The supporters of the the Workers' Party were seen celebrating after the results were announced by waving party flags on the streets. 

•  The elections were conducted while ensuring strict adherence to health safety protocols with voters wearing gloves and masks while voting. Each voter was also allotted a specific timed voting slot.  

•  The voters were given two-hour slots, during which they could cast their votes to avoid crowding. Mobile polling teams took the ballot boxes to those citizens, who had recently returned from abroad and were under institutional quarantine. 

Background 

Singapore is one of the very few countries that conducted elections amid COVID pandemic. South Korea had gone to polls in April, while Serbia conducted General elections in late June 2020. In both the nations, the ruling party was voted back to power. 

Singapore is one of the worst-hit countries in the Asia-Pacific region with over 45,000 confirmed COVID cases. The nation was initially praised for controlling the virus but clusters in its migrant population dramatically increased the infection numbers in the nation.

Singapore was under strict lockdown till June, after which the restrictions were gradually eased. However, the nation continues to lay emphasis on following safety protocols such as wearing of face masks in public and maintaining social distancing. 

Only a few nations have conducted national elections in recent months due to the high infection risk associated with large-scale gatherings and public events.

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