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Singapore Parliament Dissolved, General Election Set for November

The government has dissolved Singapore's Parliament, paving the way for a general election in the city-state. The move Thursday comes after the government redrew electoral boundaries, which opposition parties have criticized as an effort to consolidate the ruling party's power.

The government in Singapore dissolved Parliament Thursday and announced elections will be held on November 3.

The move comes one week after the government unveiled a $6.2 billion stimulus package to help the economy out of the worst recession in 30 years.

Analysts say the ruling People's Action Party, or PAP, chose an early election date to avoid the risk that the economy could worsen in the coming months. Officials have forecast the economy will contract by three percent this year, and that the recession will last into next year. Opposition parties are crying foul because the government unveiled new electoral boundaries just earlier this week. The Singapore Democratic Party deplored what it called the government's high-handed attitude in drawing up the boundaries. The party says the changes are designed to consolidate the PAP's hold on power. The PAP holds all but two of seats in Parliament.

The government defends it actions saying the redrawing of the electoral map only reflects a rise in the number of voters and shifts in the population.

The government Thursday also issued new rules barring surveys and campaign fundraising on political party Web sites. The opposition says the curbs are aimed at suppressing their voices on the Internet.