Singapore (dpa) – Singaporeans went to the polls Friday following a
fiercely contested campaign in which opposition parties sought to
break the city-state’s unbroken one-party dominance.

The People’s Action Party (PAP), which has governed Singapore since
1959, is expected to win another majority, but opposition parties
called for voters to increase their support for more diverse voices
as a check on the ruling party.

The polls open at 8am (0000 GMT) for 12 hours, and votes were to be
counted overnight.

The PAP has banked on its track record of the past five decades in
its campaign, and called on Singaporeans to elect the core of the
next generation’s leadership.

“It’s starting to come together but I need more, you need more,
Singapore needs more,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at a rally
Tuesday.

The opposition parties countered that more effective checks and
balances are necessary to secure more accountability from government.

“In a democratic system, having a rational and responsible opposition
to check on the government can enhance the stability of the nation’s
political system and give overseas investors even more confidence in
Singapore,” said Workers’ Party leader Low Thia Khiang in his final
rally speech in Mandarin on Wednesday.

The PAP saw its worst performance in the 2011 general election with
60.1 per cent of the vote, but received 81 out of 87 seats in
parliament, before losing one in a 2013 by-election.