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Four opposition parties to form new alliance ahead of the next GE

SINGAPORE - Four opposition parties here have joined hands to form an alliance ahead of the next general election which must be called by November 2025.

Peoples Voice (PV), Reform Party (RP), People’s Power Party (PPP) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said in separate Facebook announcements on Thursday that the new alliance will be called People’s Alliance. Steps are being taken to register the group with the Registry of Societies, the statement added.

Singaporeans have “clamoured for a united opposition to take on the ruling People’s Action Party”, the statement said, adding that the calls have been magnified in recent years amid “the excruciating cost of living, unaffordable property prices or job insecurity, amongst many other grievances”.

“We have heeded the calls of Singaporeans and decided that the time for talking about opposition unity without the formation of an alliance, is long past.”

The group has taken the first formal step and submitted its application to the Registry of Societies on Thursday, said PV secretary-general Lim Tean, who will also be secretary-general of the new alliance.

Speaking to The Straits Times, he said: “We have taken the first step in forging a united opposition. It has been quite a long process but we have achieved it. I hope this will spur our alliance on to form other alliances with other parties, so that a truly united opposition can be forged.”

For now, the group is not in discussion with any other parties, he added.

Progress Singapore Party (PSP) secretary-general Leong Mun Wai, who is a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, had said at a press conference held by his party last week that the PSP will “proactively facilitate” the forming of an alliance among the opposition parties.

Contacted on Thursday, he said the PSP is not in talks with any other opposition party to form an alliance, but added that “opposition parties are moving towards more cooperation, so at the moment we are very supportive of all these initiatives”.

There have been several attempts to form an opposition alliance in the past, with seven opposition parties meeting in 2018 to discuss the matter. This was prompted by the Singapore Democratic Party.

But nothing came of it, and PV, RP, PPP and DPP finally came together earlier this year to iron out an agreement, said Mr Lim.

He added that the parties have agreed on the “most fundamental challenges that face Singapore” and will coalesce around the issues of inflation, affordability of public housing, priority for Singaporeans in jobs, and also immigration.

In the statement the group also said it will contest the next general election under the banner of the alliance, and vie for the seats which the respective parties had contested in for GE 2020.

PPP secretary-general Goh Meng Seng, who will be organising secretary of the alliance, told ST that while there is no telling what will happen in the next election, “we definitely do not want” three-cornered fights.

He added that the alliance will release its manifesto once its registration is confirmed.

Other office bearers in the central executive committee of the alliance, when it is formed, will include RP chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam, who will be chairman; PPP member Peter Soh, who will be vice-chairman; and RP head of women’s wing Yasmine Valentina, who will be assistant secretary-general , among others.