Singapore prime minister promotes doubtless successor to deputy

SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has promoted his finance minister to his deputy as a part of a succession plan, however the timing of the handover is unclear.

His workplace mentioned Tuesday that Lawrence Wong, 49, would turn out to be deputy prime minister on June 13 as a part of a Cupboard reshuffle. Wong, who will retain his finance portfolio, might be performing prime minister in Lee’s absence, it mentioned.

“The following era management is taking form. I ask everybody to provide your full help to this essential transition, to steer Singapore safely out of the pandemic and right into a brighter future,” Lee mentioned on Fb.

Lee, 70, has mentioned Wong would take over the reins both earlier than or after common elections due in 2025. Lee’s Individuals’s Motion Occasion, one of many world’s longest serving events, noticed its worst election efficiency in 2020. Though it retained its tremendous majority, it misplaced some seats and help slipped.

The PAP has dominated politics since 1959 when Lee’s father, Lee Kuan Yew, grew to become Singapore’s first prime minister and constructed the resource-poor city-state into one of many world’s richest nations throughout 31 years in workplace. But it surely has additionally been criticized for tight authorities management, media censorship and use of oppressive legal guidelines and civil lawsuits in opposition to dissidents.

The 2020 ballot final result prompted Heng Swee Keat, the then-finance minister who was tipped to succeed Lee, to withdraw his nomination. Wong took over as finance minister in Might 2021 and was picked by the PAP in April as Lee’s doubtless new successor.

Wong, who got here to prominence in serving to to coordinate Singapore’s struggle in opposition to COVID-19, would be the city-state’s fourth chief since independence in 1965.

He was a civil servant who has labored in a number of ministries and served as Lee’s principal non-public secretary from 2005-2008 and the Vitality Market Authority CEO from 2008-2011. He solely entered politics within the 2011 common elections.

Wong has mentioned being Singapore’s subsequent chief could be “the largest accountability of my life.”

“I’d do my greatest and provides each ounce of my energy to serve Singapore and Singaporeans,” he wrote on Fb.

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