Voting begins in Singapore general election

10:50, May 07, 2011      

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SINGAPORE, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Voting in Singapore's general election began in the morning after the opening of the polling stations on Saturday.

Voters had started to queue even before the opening of the polling station, a Xinhua reporter at a polling station said.

Voting is compulsory for most of the 2.21 million eligible voters, with the exception for those in the Tanjong Pagar group representation constituency helmed by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. Lee led a team of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) candidates to win the five seats in the constituency uncontested on the nomination day on April 27.

The fact that 82 of the 87 wards are contested also makes the current general election the most contested in decades. The PAP has been the ruling party of the republic since its independence in 1965 and it took 82 of the total 84 seats in the last general election in 2006.

There are 12 single member constituencies and 15 group representation constituencies where candidates compete in teams of four to six.

One of the closely watched constituencies, Aljunied group representation constituency sees the Workers' Party team led by its Secretary General Low Thia Khiang pitted against incumbent PAP team led by Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo. Low had been a member of parliament for 20 years in a single member constituency, but the opposition has never won any group representation constituency before.

The polling stations are open from 8:00 a.m. till 8:00 p.m. and the results were expected within hours after the close of the polling stations.


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