According to Workers' Party chairwoman Sylvia Lim, it would not have been productive for the Workers’ Party (WP) to attend the second round of horse-trading talks after the National Solidarity Party (NSP) turned down a proposal to avoid a three-corner fight.
She was speaking to reporters during a walkabout near Circuit Road today. Yesterday, opposition parties concluded negotiations with the WP absent from the meeting.
According to Ms Lim, the WP had initiated a meeting with NSP prior to the two rounds of Opposition talks. WP had submitted a proposal to avoid a three-corner fight in Marine Parade GRC and in MacPherson SMC to the NSP as both parties had expressed interest in contesting in those constituencies.
The proposal recommended that NSP withdrew from Marine Parade, and in exchange WP would withdraw their plans to contest MacPherson. However, the proposal was turned down by NSP during the first Opposition meeting on Monday.
“We noted that at the first meeting on Aug 3, the NSP had indicated a disagreement, so we felt on assessment that it will not be productive to attend the subsequent meetings that was held on Thursday. Time is of the essence so we will have to proceed.”
On whether the absence of WP Members of Parliament (MPs) at the meeting indicates a lack of Opposition unity, Ms Lim said: "We have done our assessment of the areas we want to contest and we have told everybody our considerations, meaning that we would still want to work in areas that we have worked before. Also geographically, we have explained how the areas are close to each other so we will have to proceed with our plan."
On Thursday, the hour-long discussion with representatives from Opposition parties ended with MacPherson SMC, Marine Parade and Ang Mo Kio GRCs being flagged as constituencies that are likely to see multi-cornered fights.
NSP's Sebastian Teo also said there would probably not be more all-Opposition meetings as the talks are "likely finalised".