Voting concludes in Singapore general election

11:03, May 08, 2011      

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Voting concluded in Singapore's general election on Saturday evening.

Vote counting was under way, and the results for the 82 seats contested in the election are expected to announce late Saturday or early Sunday morning. The ruling People's Action Party (PAP) is expected to remain by far the strongest party but close battles had been expected in a few constituencies.

More than two million voters cast their ballots. 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 PAP candidates to win the five seats in the constituency uncontested on the nomination day on April 27.

Voters had started to queue even before the opening of the polling stations in the morning. By 5:00 p.m. in the afternoon more than 83 percent of the total number of voters had cast their votes, the online edition of local daily Straits Times said.

Candidates from both the PAP and the opposition parties were seen visiting the polling centers to observe the polling process.

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

Eighty-two of the 87 wards were contested in the current general election, making it 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.

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.

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