The National Solidarity Party (NSP) announced today that it would pull out of Marine Parade and MacPherson in the upcoming General Election (GE) to avoid a multi-corner fight with the Workers’ Party (WP) and incumbent People’s Action Party (PAP). This despite receiving no response from the WP over its attempts to jointly resolve the issue.
NSP will instead stand for elections in Tampines Group Representative Constituency (GRC), Sembawang GRC and Pioneer Single Member Constituency (SMC).
NSP says that it made the decision unilaterally as it wanted to avoid multi-cornered fights “which are likely to dilute Opposition votes and reduce the chance of a more diverse Parliament”, but lamented that the lack of a WP response means that both parties could not further benefit from negotiations and coordination.
“Had the WP been present at Thursday’s meeting (between Opposition parties), this issue could have been resolved and a joint statement issued. We had hoped that WP and NSP can issue a joint statement as a symbol of cooperation. We have not yet received a response to date. As there are many who are anxious for an outcome, NSP decided not to delay any further, but to make an announcement on our own,” said the NSP.
WP had announced on 26th July that it would contest 5 GRCs and 5 SMCs, including Marine Parade – which has absorbed Non-Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong’s Joo Chiat Ward – and MacPherson.
The NSP had lost Marine Parade GRC in the 2011 polls, taking 43.36 per cent of the vote against a PAP team which included Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. The NSP team featured Ms Nicole Seah, who recently announced she will not run in the coming GE. MacPherson SMC was carved out of Marine Parade; incumbent MP Tin Pei Ling will contest the ward for the PAP.
In its press release, the NSP said that it will contest two constituencies where it had challenged the PAP in 2011: Tampines GRC, where it said it has been working the ground since it lost the contest there in 2011; and Pioneer SMC, where Mr Steve Chia lost to the PAP’s Mr Cedric Foo.
A new battleground for them this time round will be Sembawang GRC. The Singapore Democratic Party, which contested the GRC in 2011, announced at Thursday’s Opposition meeting that it will “voluntary withdraw from the GRC in the hope it would help resolve remaining claims”, the NSP said in its statement.
“Indeed this has created room for further compromises among the parties present,” said NSP Secretary-General Hazel Poa in thanking the SDP for the move.