The People’s Action Party has above all promised stability and competence. Having ruled Singapore since even before independence in 1965, the ruling party claims to have transformed a resource-hungry backwater at the tip of peninsular Southeast Asia into one of the most prosperous nations in the world. the planet.
The coronavirus destroyed overcrowded dormitories sheltering 200,000 foreign workers, infecting tens of thousands of people, but Singapore kept the pandemic at 26 people. The job losses were mitigated by a rescue effort that cost more than $ 70 billion. While Singapore has no minimum wage and at least 10 percent of its households are considered poor by some estimates, many public housing for citizens provides a kind of social safety net.
“We need the support of all Singaporeans,” said Lee, who has led Singapore since 2004, before the vote. “Not only to return the PAP to the government. But also to give it a strong mandate, to give it the means to act decisively on your behalf and to steer the country towards better times. “
For the 10 opposition parties that opposed the PAP, the campaign was less an attempt to overthrow a political giant than an effort to inject different views into the national conversation. The ruling party’s smallest mandate ever was a 60% victory in 2011, and the opposition won only six seats in the last election in 2015.
“What we are trying to deny them is a blank check, and that’s what I think this election is about,” said Jamus Lim, economist and candidate for the Workers’ Party, in a debate online.
Singapore’s political restrictions, as well as social distancing measures, have made opposition to gaining momentum even more difficult than usual.