GE2015: WP's Gerald Giam not among NCMPs
Mr Dennis Tan and Mr Leon Perera of the Workers' Party (WP) will be two new Non-Constituency Members of Parliament, the Elections Department said in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 16).
However, the third seat is still up in the air as Ms Lee Li Lian, also a member of WP, was elected to the position, but has declined to take up the offer.
Her party issued a statement on Wednesday (Sept 16) afternoon, saying its Central Executive Council (CEC) "concurred with Ms Lee Li Lian’s decision not to accept the NCMP position".
The WP's statement added that "should Parliament resolve to fill the vacated NCMP seat left by Ms Lee, that Associate Professor Daniel Goh Pei Siong would fill that seat".
Days prior to her party's announcement, Ms Lee had said she would not take up the position so that others in her party would be able to do so.
But it remains to be seen whether the seat will be passed on to another person or remain vacant.
The Elections Department said that if any elected NCMP "fails to take and subscribe before Parliament the Oath of Allegiance under Article 61 of the Constitution at the first or second sitting of Parliament during its first session after the General Election, then Parliament may at its discretion declare that seat vacant".
It added: "Parliament is not thereafter obliged to declare that seat be filled by the next succeeding candidate."
There are three NCMP positions in Parliament as six Opposition MPs were elected in the 2015 General Election – The Parliamentary Elections Act provides for up to nine NCMPs if no Opposition MPs are elected.
Ms Lee, 37, who contested in Punggol East single-member constituency, and Mr Tan, 45, who contested in Fengshan SMC, were offered the position as they had received the top two highest percentages of votes among unelected Opposition candidates.
The Elections Department had also offered one member of WP's East Coast Group Representation Constituency team – which comprised Mr Perera, chief executive of a consultancy firm; IT consultant Gerald Giam, 37; Mr Goh, 42; and former librarian Mohamed Fairoz Shariff, 36, – an NCMP position.
The group had received the third highest percentage of votes among unelected Opposition candidates.
WP said it had "decided to nominate Mr Leon Perera from the East Coast GRC team" for the position.
So why wasn't Mr Giam, a former NCMP and the leader of WP's East Coast GRC team, chosen for the position?
Mr Giam said in a Facebook post that he had proposed to his party to nominate Mr Perera from the East Coast team.
"I am happy that the CEC unanimously agreed to this proposal," he wrote.
He added: "While I will no longer be an NCMP, I intend to continue serving residents on the ground in East Coast GRC and through my Party in the areas of policy research and media."