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Singapore Parliament Elections Kick Off

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TEHRAN, May 7 (ICANA) – Citizens in Singapore have gone to the polls to elect 87 representatives in the country's parliamentary elections that reportedly pose a major challenge to the ruling party.
Saturday, May 07, 2011 6:37:50 PM
Singapore Parliament Elections Kick Off

Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. local time on Saturday and about 2.2 million eligible voters are expected to cast ballots in a country where voting is compulsory, the Associated Press reported.

Well-educated opposition candidates, running for the first time in the country's parliamentary elections, have succeeded in attracting tens of thousands of people who have recently grown more dissatisfied with the government over soaring housing costs and the unwelcome influx of foreign workers, analysts say.

The ruling People's Action Party (PAP), in power for nearly five decades, has apologized to the people for past policy mistakes in an effort to win back those who have become disappointed with the government.

"There are immediate problems on everyone's minds, like the cost of living and housing," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a televised speech late Friday, reiterating that the ruling party is trying to remove them.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister George Yeo, the head of the PAP, has tried to signal regret over what he called government's “arrogance” but said in a speech that people know “Singapore needs the PAP and without the PAP there is no Singapore.”

PAP traditionally campaigned on its economic progress and anti-corruption efforts. However, the working class says the rise in living costs has made living conditions worse now that they do not even receive any pay raises.

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