The Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday made an announcement that the city-state is going to hold a national election imminently on July 10 as he was satisfied a vote might be held safely despite the ongoing coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.
The nomination day for the elections will be June 30, with the polling date to get announced later, the office of the prime minister mentioned in a separate statement. "I have decided to hold the general election now," Lee said in an address to the nation.
Singapore Elections Amid COVID-19 Crisis
"We are still in the midst of COVID-19 so it will not be a normal election campaign," Lee added, saying he was satisfied the election could be carried out safely and that parties could campaign effectively. The government was required to call an election by April 2021, but there has been persistent speculation that Lee would opt to call for a vote before then.
Singapore's president, on the advice of the prime minister, dissolved parliament on Tuesday. Lee said the virus situation in Singapore - which has recorded some of the highest COVID-19 rates in Asia due to outbreaks in migrant dormitories - had stabilized but said that challenges lay ahead and his government needed a fresh mandate.
Lee's People's Action Party has won every election since Singapore's independence in 1965 and never seen its vote share drop below 60 percent. Singapore last week lifted most of its curbs on socializing, shopping, and dining out after more than two months of coronavirus lockdown. Having won plaudits for its early containment efforts, Singapore enforced one of the world's strictest lockdowns after a surge in imported cases and outbreaks in cramped migrant dormitories.
(With agency inputs)