Singapore Premier Lee Hsien Loong's People's Action Party returned to power after scoring a landslide victory in today's general election, dashing hopes of the opposition seeking to end half a century dominance by one-party.
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Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of the ruling People's Action Party celebrate a win in his constituency in Singapore. (Image: AP)[/caption]
The People's Action Party (PAP) won an absolute majority of 83 seats in the 89-member Parliament. The opposition Workers' Party won six seats. The PAP has increased its percentage of the votes to over 70 per cent of all valid votes counted so far, up from 60.14 per cent in the 2011 general election, when the party won 81 of the 87 constituency elected.
Prime Minister Lee, 63, was re-elected from his group representation constituency (GRC) of Ang Mo Kio. A GRC is a type of electoral division or constituency in Singapore where the MPs are voted into Parliament as a group.
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"You've given us your mandate - we'll do our best to serve you," said Lee in his victory speech, delivered in English and Mandarin. "My team and I in Ang Mo Kio - some of us have served you for many years, some of them are new. Regardless, we'll work together and work hard to build a better home, and we'll speak up and represent you in Parliament."
"We will also represent Singaporeans to build a better Singapore," Lee said. Opposition leaders acknowledged the results, saying there seems to a bigger swing towards the PAP, which has ruled Singapore since independence in 1965.
The results have shocked the opposition which managed to work on a seat sharing scheme to win PAP ground. Opposition parties had contested in all seats for the first time in hope of gaining enough votes to challenge its domination of politics.
"All of us in the opposition parties are pretty shocked by the swing across nationally, but we do respect the choice of the voters," said Singapore People's Party candidate and leader Ben Pwee said. More than 2 million Singaporeans voted today in one of the biggest election contest.
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Opposition politicians have challenged the government on issues related to migrants, cost of living, low wages, foreign workers competing for jobs, the stressed transportation system and the age limit on retirees to withdraw Central Provident Fund, a compulsory savings from salaries.
Politics in the city-state since its independence in 1965 has been dominated by the ruling PAP founded by Lee Kuan Yew, father of Lee, and it has won every election. The PAP's biggest competition in the election to the 89-seat parliament is the Workers' Party, which in the last parliament had seven MPs.
The opposition is made up of Workers' Party, National Solidarity Party, Singapore Democratic Party, Reform Party, Singaporeans First, Singapore People's Party, Singapore Democratic Alliance and People's Power Party.