SINGAPORE (AP) – Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong calls for new elections to seek a new mandate despite the coronavirus pandemic. Lee says in a televised speech that he has advised the country’s president to dissolve parliament to pave the way for early polls.
He says that now, when things are relatively stable, an election will give the new government a new full five-year mandate.
The announcement comes days after Singapore lifted most virus restrictions. Lee says infections in dormitories used by foreign workers have increased the number of cases to more than 42,000, while cases outside the 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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