11-5-2023, 7:06 PM

Prior to the 2025 election, Singapore's prime minister intends to step down and transfer power to his deputy

Prior to the general election of 2025, Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, announced on Sunday that he intended to step down and give the reins to his deputy, Lawrence Wong, late in the following year.

Lee, 71, had originally planned to retire prior to turning 70, but the COVID-19 pandemic put that plan on hold. Since 2004, he has been prime minister and the leader of the People's Action Party (PAP), which has been in power for a long time. He designated Wong, the finance minister, as his successor last year.

"There is no reason to postpone Lawrence and his team's political transition; I have complete faith in them. Consequently, before the next general election, I plan to turn over to DPM (Deputy Prime Minister) Lawrence," Lee declared at a party conference.

He claimed that giving Wong the reins before the national elections will enable the 50-year-old lawmaker to secure his own mandate and advance the nation.

Without providing a specific date, Lee stated, "If all goes well, I will hand over (to Wong) by PAP's 70th birthday next year," which is November 2024.

An emotional Lee, fighting back tears, expressed gratitude for his time of service and vowed to support Wong and his new team to the fullest.

Wong, who gained notoriety for assisting in the planning of Singapore's defense against COVID-19, will serve as the nation's fourth leader since its founding in 1965.

Lee is the eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew, who served as Singapore's first prime minister for 31 years, during which time he transformed the resource-poor city-state into one of the richest countries in the world. However, it has also come under fire for strict government regulation, media suppression, the application of harsh legislation, and civil litigation directed at dissidents.

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