Singapore’s general election set for today

Singapore will hold parliamentary elections today, with 2.65 million people projected to participate in the mandatory vote. The ruling People’s

Singapore Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Singapore will hold parliamentary elections today, with 2.65 million people projected to participate in the mandatory vote.

The ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) will compete with multiple smaller opposition parties for all 93 seats at stake. The PAP is the only party to field candidates for every seat, followed by the new Progress Singapore Party with 24 candidates and the Workers’ Party with 21.

Expect the PAP to retain its enduring hold on the Singaporean government, as it has for every general election since Singapore became independent in 1965. During its campaign, the PAP leveraged Singapore’s new “Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation” law to maintain an online advantage. The 2019 bill—which allows ministers to amend any virtual post that could allegedly harm the public interest—has allowed the PAP to quell the online reach of opposition parties, as COVID-19 has forced political parties to rely primarily on digital outreach.

Today’s elections are Singapore’s first following the passage of its “fake news law”. The legislation, which has set a decidedly negative precedent for the freedom of the Singaporean press, could foment dissatisfaction and potential protests against the PAP as the nation enters a recession that is projected to be its worst ever.

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