SDP declares interest in contesting at Punggol-East SMC

SDP say it will choose one from a list of potential candidates to contest in the Punggol East SMC by-election. (Yahoo! photo)

Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) said on Thursday that it is planning to contest in the Punggol East Single Member Constituency (SMC).
SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan and chairman Jufrie Mahmood said during a press conference Thursday afternoon that the opposition party has drawn up comprehensive policies to address the concerns of Singaporeans and is looking forward to putting their policies before the voters of Punggol East.
"The SDP's participation will allow the by-election to focus on the people's concerns and policies that will address them," said Jufrie.
"In the past several years and especially since the 2011 General Election, we have been building up our party machinery and know-how in campaigning,” he said. “We are confident in bringing our campaign to Punggol East and communicating our message to our voters there.”
Chee said he himself will not be contesting because he is disqualified to run in an election until 2015. He added that the party has prepared a slate of candidates that are competent and passionate in serving the residents but did not reveal who the candidates are.
The party has not ruled out Vincent Wijeysingha, its treasurer, as one of the potential candidates, he said.
Punggol East SMC was left without a Member of Parliament (MP) after People's Action Party (PAP) member Michael Palmer's shock resignation from the party. Palmer resigned after news that he had been involved in an extramarital affair broke.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he would carefully consider whether and when to call for a by-election in the single-member ward.

The Workers' Party earlier also said it would join in a by-election to offer voters of Punggol East "a choice".

At the last general election in May 2011, Palmer defeated WP candidate, Lee Li Lian, by 54.5 percent to 41 percent of votes. A third candidate, Singapore Democratic Alliance's Desmond Lim received 4.4 percent of votes.