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Four fringe opposition parties reveal plans to form a coalition as election nears

The four opposition parties are allegedly planning to register their alliance by the end of January.

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The Reform Party (RP), Singapore First party (SingFirst), People’s Power Party (PPP) and the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) are reportedly planning to form a coalition ahead of the upcoming General Election.

According to the national broadsheet, the four opposition parties are planning to register their alliance by the end of January. This alliance could decrease the number of opposition groups in Singapore from the current 11 to eight.

The remaining seven opposition parties in Singapore are the Workers’ Party (WP), the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), the National Solidarity Party (NSP), the Singapore People’s Party (SPP), the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) and the People’s Voice Party (PVP).

The WP, the PSP and the SDP are largely considered the three strongest opposition parties in Singapore – the WP is the only opposition party to currently hold seats in Parliament while the SDP has made a name for itself as a strong, credible opposition voice over the years.

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The PSP is the very first party in Singapore’s history to be led by a former ruling party parliamentarian and is the largest opposition party in the country, with about 1,500 members.

The remaining opposition parties are widely seen as “fringe” parties, with considerably smaller pools of members and limited resources.

A coalition between the RP, PPP, DPP and SingFirst could prove to be beneficial as they could pool their resources and bring more bargaining power to the talks between the opposition parties after the release of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) report, when parties gather to decide which wards each party will target.

Political alliances must be registered with the Registry of Societies. It takes an average time of about two months to process the application to register a new political alliance, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Many expect the next election to be around the corner after the Government announced that the EBRC was convened in August last year.

The formation of the committee – which reviews the boundaries of the electoral map and takes about two-four months to make recommendations on how the boundaries should be redrawn – marks the first formal step towards an election and precedes the calling of each election.

Some political observers and members of the public believe that the next election could be called in the first quarter of this year, after Budget 2020, which is scheduled to be delivered on Feb 18. /TISG

DPM Heng to deliver Budget 2020 on Feb 18

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