NSP will ‘proceed with plans if WP doesn’t reply by Monday’
SINGAPORE — The National Solidarity Party (NSP) will issue a public statement on which constituencies it plans to contest in the coming General Election (GE), if it does not receive a response from the Workers’ Party (WP) by tomorrow (Aug 10) on bilateral discussions to avoid three-cornered contests in Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC) and MacPherson Single-Member Constituency (SMC).
Speaking to the media today after a walkabout in Tampines GRC, NSP acting secretary-general Hazel Poa said her party has not yet received a response since it reached out to the WP on Friday to hold further talks, after a second round of planned Opposition talks on Thursday failed to yield a resolution on the matter.
The WP, which skipped Thursday’s meeting, previously stated that it would contest in Marine Parade GRC and MacPherson SMC after its “concrete proposal” to avoid a potential three-cornered fight was rejected by the NSP. Apart from these two constituencies, the NSP has its sights set on Tampines GRC, Sembawang GRC and Pioneer SMC, after dropping its interest in Chua Chu Kang GRC, Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC and Bukit Batok SMC.
During its walkabout at the Tampines Round Market and Food Centre, NSP representatives were heard telling residents that it would be sending an “A-team” to contest in Tampines GRC.
Speaking to reporters, Ms Poa said as much: “Tampines is one of those (GRCs) that we will definitely be very interested to put our best in. (We chose) Tampines because the NSP has been here since 1988. Residents recognise us, and we have been quite happy with the support we have been getting here. There are also some who reflected to us that they feel it’s a real pity we did not concentrate our resources here (during) the last GE. They were quite disappointed.”
The party got 42.8 per cent of the vote in Tampines GRC in the 2011 GE, with a team led by Mr Goh Meng Seng, who has since left NSP and set up the new People’s Power Party. In the elections four years ago, the NSP had sent the highest number of candidates among all the opposition parties.
“In the previous GE, our strategy was different. At that time, the objective was to build name recognition for the NSP, so we went out in terms of numbers. But for this GE, the objective is different. We want to win one constituency,”Ms Poa said.
Ms Poa, who contested in Chua Chu Kang GRC in the 2011 GE, declined to give further details on the party’s slate of candidates. Nevertheless, a possible new face could be Mr Lim Tean, a legal consultant, who was part of the walkabout.