The Workers' Party prepares to elect new party chief

The Workers' Party prepares to elect new party chief

Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang announced in November that he would not contest the party’s top post, to make way for new blood.

Workers' Party new HQ opening
Workers' Party leaders at the opening of party's new headquarters on Friday (Sep 29). (Photo: Monica Kotwani)

SINGAPORE: The Workers’ Party (WP) will elect its new party chief on Sunday (Apr 8), as it holds its biennial Central Executive Council (CEC) elections.

Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang announced in November, during the party’s 60th anniversary dinner, that he would not contest the top post in order to give the younger generation of party leaders the chance to take over the party. 

The Party’s Assistant Secretary-General Pritam Singh, who is a fellow MP in Aljunied GRC, has been widely seen as the frontrunner in the race to be Mr Low’s successor, following recent reports in the media. WP Non-Constituency MPs Dennis Tan and Leon Perera, as well as former NCMP Gerald Giam, had all expressed support for Mr Singh, according to an article in the TODAY newspaper.

Fellow NCMP Daniel Goh also made a Facebook post in February, backing Mr Singh to become the next party chief. He also confirmed that the elections would be held on Sunday.

In 2016, during the party’s last CEC elections, MP Chen Show Mao mounted a surprise challenge to Mr Low for the leadership post. He lost to Mr Low with a reported 61-45 vote. Mr Chen had said then that the challenge provided an opportunity to “exercise (our) democratic rights”, and the new CEC would go ahead with full support from the party. 

In response to the reports about support for Mr Singh, Mr Chen told Channel NewsAsia that he agreed with “many things that have been said in public”. But he noted that the elections are ultimately a matter for party members, and he “looks forward respectfully” to them making a decision soon. 

Mr Chen has not said if he plans to contest Sunday’s election.

Source: CNA/mn