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Lee Li Lian, Dennis Tan, Leon Perera elected as NCMPs

Ms Lee, Mr Tan and Mr Perera. Ms Lee has declined the NCMP seat and should Parliament decide to fill the vacancy, the WP has nominated its East Coast GRC candidate Daniel Goh to take her place


LEE Li Lian, Dennis Tan and Leon Perera of the Workers' Party (WP) have been elected as non-constituency members of parliament (NCMP), the Elections Department (ELD) announced on Wednesday.

Ms Lee, who lost her Punggol East single seat, and Mr Tan, who contested and lost in Fengshan, secured the two highest percentages of the votes among all the unelected opposition candidates at last Friday's general election (GE).

The four WP candidates fielded in East Coast group representation constituency (GRC) - Gerald Giam, Leon Perera, Daniel Goh and Mohamed Fairoz Shariff - received the third-highest percentage of the votes. Of the quartet, the WP nominated Mr Perera, a consultancy firm chief executive, to take up the third NCMP spot.

Ms Lee, however, has already indicated that she will not accept the NCMP post after her defeat at the polls. The WP CEC has since backed her decision.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, she cited a number of factors for her decision, among them the need to respect the electoral process and the voters' choice.

"The NCMP role is better suited for an aspiring MP who has no such experience and should take this up to show how he or she can contribute in Parliament," said Ms Lee, who resigned from her job to become a full-time MP after her by-election victory in January 2013.

She noted that the WP has many good candidates, and she hoped that Parliament could allow one more person from the party's East Coast team to be appointed an NCMP.

The ELD told the media that the Attorney-General was of the view that if any NCMP declared to be elected failed to take and subscribe before Parliament the oath of allegiance at the first or second sitting during its first session, Parliament "may at its discretion declare that seat vacant".

Parliament is not obliged to declare that seat be filled by the next succeeding candidate, the ELD added.

However, should Parliament eventually resolve to fill the vacated NCMP seat by Ms Lee, the WP has already nominated Mr Goh - an associate professor at the National University of Singapore - for it.

The NCMP scheme was introduced back in 1984 to ensure a minimum number of opposition members in Singapore's Parliament.

NCMP seats are offered to losing opposition candidates who score the highest percentage of votes. NCMPs can vote on all matters except supply Bills, money Bills, Constitutional amendments, motions of no confidence in the government and motions on the removal of the President from office.

The Constitution provides for a maximum of nine NCMPs if no opposition candidates are elected after a GE. As a total of six people from the opposition - all from the WP - were elected, that meant that three NCMP seats were opened up to make up the required nine.