Despite emerging from a three-hour meeting which was described as “cordial” and declaring that most potential multi-cornered fights had been resolved during an opposition parties meeting yesterday, sources close to party leaders said that discussions were overshadowed by a heated argument between the Workers’ Party (WP) and the National Solidarity Party (NSP) over Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC), Jalan Besar GRC and the MacPherson single-seat ward.
Sources, who declined to be named as the parties want to keep discussions confidential, said the WP would not budge on its decision to send a team to contest Marine Parade GRC, where the NSP had lost narrowly to the PAP in the 2011 General Election after garnering 43.4 per cent of the votes.
The NSP had asked for the WP to withdraw its interest in Jalan Besar GRC, in return for the NSP to give up contesting Marine Parade GRC. The WP refused.
There was also no room for negotiation on MacPherson Single-Member Constituency (SMC), which the NSP is also eyeing. They said the WP maintained that it will not budge on the five GRCs (Aljunied, East Coast, Marine Parade, Nee Soon, Jalan Besar) and five SMCs (Hougang, Punggol East, Fengshan, MacPherson and Sengkang West) which it had declared its interest in, following the release of the electoral boundaries report last month.
At one point, an NSP representative even threatened to send a team to contest in Aljunied GRC — which is held by the WP — if the WP refused to back down, sources who attended the closed-door meeting at the NSP’s Jalan Besar headquarters told TODAY.
Yesterday, both the WP and NSP conducted house visits in Serangoon Central — which falls under Marine Parade GRC — with the two entourages only hundreds of metres away from each other.
WP Non-Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong, who is likely to lead the WP’s team in Marine Parade GRC, told TODAY that his party’s position on the GRC is “firm”. The NSP declined comment, referring to the ongoing discussions that will resume tomorrow.