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'Deadly serious' GE ahead: PM Lee

The next general election (GE), which must be held by January 2017, "will be about who forms the government, not how many seats the opposition gets" Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

It will be a "deadly serious" fight, he told members of his People's Action Party (PAP).

The election will be about whether Singapore continues to have a first world government, and not about "a first world parliament", Mr Lee said.

Every seat will be a national contest, and not a local one. Every seat will be a general election, not a by-election, he said at the party's conference and rally.

He spoke about the opposition parties' strategy of asking Singaporeans to vote for them so they can act as a check on the PAP, and make the government work harder.

But this will only see politicians checking each other and there will be gridlock like in other countries. For every one more "checker" in parliament, there will be one less doer, thinker and leader in the government to serve the nation and the people, Mr Lee said.

Mr Lee urged the party to fight to win the election, and to win convincingly.

The PAP has already identified many promising candidates, including a few potential office holders, he said.

His successor as prime minister would most likely be among "a renewed, strengthened and more seasoned" team of Members of Parliament and ministers after the next general election.

RE-ELECTED

The conference also saw Mr Lee re-elected into the PAP central executive committee, the party's highest decision-making body.

Others elected or co-opted into the new committee are Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Mr Yaacob Ibrahim, Mr Teo Chee Hean, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Mr Lim Swee Say, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Mr K. Shanmugan, Ms Grace Fu, Mr Gan Kim Yong, Mr Heng Swee Keat, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Madam Halimah Yacob and Mr Ng Eng Hen.

PAPLee Hsien LoongSingapore Elections