PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday said Singapore will hold parliamentary elections in the coming weeks in spite of being among the countries in Asia worst hit by the novel coronavirus.
In a televised speech, Lee said fresh polls “will clear the decks, and give the new government a fresh five-year mandate.”
The Elections Department later announced that voting would take place on July 10, with nominations for candidates due by the end of June.
“The virus will be with us for at least a year and most probably longer and that there is no assurance that the pandemic will be over before this Government’s term must end next April,” Lee said.
Singapore has diagnosed 42,392 novel coronavirus cases, mostly among the wealthy city-state’s migrant worker population, while 26 people have died after being infected.
According to Lee, though Singapore’s community cases are low, election rallies will not be permitted and that door-to-door campaigning will be limited to groups of five people.
Lee’s government imposed a two-month lockdown from April 7, with the prime minister saying that the full economic impact of the pandemic had not yet been felt.
“We must brace ourselves for a very tough period ahead,” Lee said, whose People’s Action Party (PAP) has governed Singapore uninterrupted since the founding of the state in 1965. (dpa/NAN)
– Jun. 23, 2020 @ 12:49 GMT |