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Singapore's democratic opening

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COMMENT Singapore’s 2011 general election campaign has been historic, and signals a major transformation in the country’s political landscape. The intensity and tone of this campaign has been unprecedented as the ruling PAP’s (People’s Action Party) record has come under attack.

Given the impressive management of the 2008 global financial crisis and record GDP growth of 14.5% in 2010, this election should have given Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong a strong mandate and seen as a celebration of Singapore’s success.

Instead, from the first day of the campaign when thousands thronged Hougang Stadium to attend an opposition rally organised by the Worker’s Party, the PAP has been on the defensive...

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