Voting was underway on Friday for Singapore’s general elections, where the city-state’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is contesting on all the 93 seats.
Polling stations opened in the early hours of the days at around 8 am and will close at 8 pm, according to the media reports.
Some 2.65 million people are eligible to vote in these elections, the 13th since independence.
A total of 191 candidates from 11 political parties and an independent candidate are competing for the 93 seats at stake.
Meanwhile, the Elections Department (ELD) has asked voters to vote within the recommended time bands.
Voters on Stay-Home Notice or medical certificates for acute respiratory infection, or are having a fever, are advised to vote between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The COVID-19 patients and voters who are on Quarantine Order will not be allowed to vote.
According to the local media, some overseas voters had cast their votes before Friday.
The ELD has also said temperature screening was being conducted to detect those with fever or respiratory symptoms at the polling stations.
The elections are taking place after President Halimah Yacob dissolved Parliament on June 23.
The election, Singapore’s 13th since independence, is likely to again see the People’s Action Party (PAP) challenged for all seats – as the ruling party was in 2015, said The Straits Times report.
For this year’s election, the city-state is divided into 14 single-member constituencies (SMCs) and 17 group representation constituencies (GRCs), representing the 93 seats.
Late June, Lee Hsien Yang, the estranged younger brother of Singapore’s Prime Minister said that he will not contest in the city-state’s July 10 general elections, deflating the hype built up after he joined the opposition as the nine-day campaigning period kicked off.
While Singapore doesn’t allow opinion polls, most analysts expect the PAP to easily win again. Still, any narrowing of its victory margin could reflect an erosion of confidence in its new generation of leaders, particularly regarding how they are handling the pandemic.
During the 2015 General Election, the PAP won 69.9 per cent of the votes as well as 83 seats out of the total 89 seats in Parliament.