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Hougang by-election vote counting under way

The counting of votes for the Hougang by-election is going on at the Serangoon Secondary School and Holy Innocents' Primary School.

Hougang by-election vote counting under way

Counting agents gently breaking the box's seal and counting begins. (Photo: Han Wei Chou, channelnewsasia.com)

SINGAPORE: The counting of votes for the Hougang by-election is going on at the Serangoon Secondary School and Holy Innocents' Primary School.

Some 40 elections officials are counting the votes.

The two candidates - People's Action Party's (PAP) Desmond Choo and the Workers' Party's (WP) Png Eng Huat - are making their rounds to the counting centres to oversee the counting process.

The election agents of the candidates are also at the counting centres to oversee the process.

Meanwhile, supporters of Mr Png gather at a coffee shop in Hougang while those rallying behind Mr Choo are at the PAP's Hougang branch office.

Ballot boxes from the nine polling centres were earlier sealed before being moved to the counting centres, after polling ended at 8pm.

The Elections Department said that as of 5pm, 83 per cent of 23,368 eligible voters had cast their ballot.

Mr Choo had urged voters to pick the best man and vote for a new beginning in Hougang.

"We are at a crossroads today. Continue with the status quo in Hougang or make a change now! If you continue with the status quo, you are going to get four more years of the same thing. And if I may say, four years of the same is four years too long!" Mr Choo had said.

Mr Png's message to voters is that Hougang should remain in opposition hands to act as a check on the ruling PAP.

The WP has held the Hougang seat since 1991.

The seat fell vacant in February after former Member of Parliament Yaw Shin Leong was expelled from the Workers' Party, following reports of his personal indiscretions.

Mr Yaw had won the seat in the May 2011 General Election with 64.8 per cent of the vote.

The Hougang by-election comes exactly 20 years since Singapore saw its last by-election.

Source: CNA/ir

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