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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                       27  August 2011

Singaporeans vote for president

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Singaporeans have begun voting for president in an election seen as a referendum on the popularity of the ruling party.

Polls will remain open until 8pm Saturday (1200 GMT), and results are scheduled to be announced a few hours later.

The presidency is largely a ceremonial position in Singapore's parliamentary government.

The four candidates, all surnamed Tan, are the most since Singapore began electing its president by popular vote in 1993.

The People's Action Party has been in power since 1959, but its vote total in parliamentary elections in May fell to the lowest since Singapore split from Malaysia in 1965.

Candidate and former deputy prime minister Tony Tan is backed by most of the political establishment.

Other candidates vying for the post include Tan Cheng Bock, a former PAP member of parliament and a medical doctor; Tan Kin Lian, a former insurance company executive; and Tan Jee Say, an opposition politician.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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