SINGAPORE (AP) – Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for early elections on Tuesday to seek a new mandate despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Lee said in a televised speech that he advised the country’s president to dissolve parliament to pave the way for early polls. He said an election, now that things are relatively stable, will give the new government a full five-year mandate.
The announcement comes days after Singapore lifted most virus restrictions. Lee said infections in dormitories used by foreign workers, bringing the number of cases to more than 42,000, have decreased while cases outside dorms have stabilized.
He said he decided to hold elections now because there is no guarantee that the pandemic will end by April when the current government term ends.
“The alternative is to wait for the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have no guarantee that the pandemic will be over before the government’s term ends in April, so I decided to hold the general election now,” he said.
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