Premier Lee Hsien Loong has announced that he will leave office once the coronavirus emergency ends. Battle against the pandemic and the economic crisis are the main themes of the election campaign. The country is in recession. The prime minister's brother sides with the opposition.
Singapore (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Voting is underway in Singapore amidst strict prevention measures for Covid-19.
The snap election was called in the midst of the pandemic by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, son of the father of the country Lee Kuan Yew and should reconfirm the PAP party (Popular Action Party) in power with a very large majority. The political formation has ruled the country since its independence in 1965.
Lee anticipated that this will be his last election as candidate prime minister. He will leave office once the coronavirus emergency ends. Singapore has one of the highest levels of infection per capita in the world. About 45,500 are infected in the city-state which has registered 26 deaths. Most of the cases concern workers from poor countries who live amassed in some city residences.
While the PAP victory is not a discussion, analysts claim that the margin of victory remains to be assessed. Voters will weigh Lee's management of the pandemic crisis and the solutions he offers to overcome the economic downturn that has ensued. According to estimates, the city-state economy will contract between 4 and 7% in 2020. So far the government has allocated 63 billion euros to stimulate recovery.
The space for political dissent is not very large in the country. The main challenger to PAP is the Workers' Party, the only opposition force (6 out of 89 seats) in the current Parliament. The election campaign kicked off with support from Prime Minister Lee's younger brother Lee Hsien Yang to another opposition formation: the Progress Singapore Party.