Monday, May 02, 2011

Singapore opposition draws big crowds ...

Tens of thousands of people are attending opposition rallies in Singapore, a show of defiance against the long-ruling People's Action Party (PAP) as one of Asia's wealthiest and fastest-growing nations heads for its most hotly contested election ever.
The criticism of the government at the rallies and the boos and catcalls are extremely rare in a state where political freedom is usually restricted.
No one is suggesting that Singapore, one of the world's biggest centers for trade, business and banking, is headed for a change in government in the May 7 election. But the PAP, which has swept all 10 previous elections and did not lose a single seat until 1981, could see its percentage of the vote drop.
"I think a very likely scenario (for the opposition) is that there will be an increase in the vote, but potentially not much progress in terms of seats because it's a first-past-the-post system," said Garry Rodan, a professor at Australia's Murdoch University who writes on Singapore politics. More...
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