Singaporeans voted Friday in a general election that is expected to return prime minister Lee Hsien Loong’s long-governing party to power.
The Election Department said around a third of voters had cast ballots by noon. The vote was held with strict safety measures in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. It comes just weeks after the country emerged from a two-month lockdown. With more than 45,000 cases, Singapore has been one of the worst hit countries in the region.
The People’s Action Party has been in power since the country gained its independence and is widely expected to retain power. Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong has been in office since 2004. He is the son of the country’s long-time ruler Lee Kuan Yew.
The main opposition party, the Workers’ Party, complained the decision to hold the vote during a pandemic was aimed at undercutting its campaigning efforts.
Lee’s government has unveiled several economic aid packages totaling nearly $71.7 billion, but warned the full economic impact of the coronavirus crisis has not been felt yet.