Reform Party (RP) chairman Andy Zhu revealed that talks with the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) on both parties’ clashing claims to West Coast GRC have occurred but to no avail, in a recent interview with the Straits Times.
The RP, led by Secretary-General Kenneth Jeyaretnam, contested West Coast GRC in both the 2011 and 2015 elections and has been walking the ground there over the years.
While the RP has repeatedly announced its intention to contest West Coast GRC again in the coming elections, the PSP has also expressed an interest in the ward. As one of the fresh parties on the block that was formed after the last election, the PSP barter for a place at the table with another opposition party may turn into a multi-cornered fight, if it is keen on contesting an existing ward.
The PSP continues to have its eye on West Coast GRC, even after the RP has indicated that it will not cede its claim to the ward, setting the stage for a potential three-cornered fight.
The leaders of both parties have expressed an interest to avoid a multi-cornered contest. Mr Jeyaretnam said on Monday that his party has been cooperating with fellow opposition groups and hopes to avoid three-cornered fights, while PSP assistant secretary-general Leong Munwai said that the “likelihood of a three-cornered fight in a GRC is quite minimal.”
Although Mr Leong, who is in charge of liasing with the other parties for the general election, said that there has been “a lot of progress in the coordination among the opposition parties,” the situation at West Coast GRC remains at an impasse.
RP chairman has revealed that talks between the parties over West Coast GRC have taken place but have been fruitless. He told the Straits Times: “The older parties have a consensus that we each go back to our old homegrounds, because we are committed and we don’t just come and go. This time, because of some new parties who want a foothold in certain GRCs as well, it’s led to a more complicated discussion.”