Singapore’s first contested presidential election in nearly two decades went into a recount of votes early Sunday morning due to a knife-edge fight between the two leading contenders. The ballot is regarded as a further test of support for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s People’s Action Party (PAP), which posted its worst result since 1965 in the May general election.
Medical doctor and former PAP legislator Tan Cheng Bock, 71, and former deputy prime minister Tony Tan, 71, emerged as the two candidates with the most votes, said the elections department.
As the difference was not more than 2 per cent of the total number of valid votes cast, ‘the returning officer has allowed the recounting of all votes cast in Singapore,’ it said in a statement.
Local media said about 5,500 overseas votes, set to be counted next week, might also come into play as Tony Tan was leading his closest rival by about 7,600 votes. Two other contenders were out of the race earlier.