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Singapore Ruling Party Wins Elections by a Landslide

Singapore's ruling People's Action Party won Saturday's general election with a landslide victory, securing a strong mandate for the two year old leadership of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP) won 82 out of 84 seats in Saturday's general election retaining the status quo.

The opposition - despite having fielded 47 candidates that denied PAP a walk over victory for the first time in nearly two decades before the polls even started - managed simply to retain its two parliament seats.

The elections were seen as a test of popularity for the two-year-old leadership of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, eldest son of Singapore's founding father Lee Kwan Yew.

A jubilant Mr. Lee thanked his fellow Singaporeans for the vote of confidence shortly after the election results were announced. "I'd like to thank all Singaporeans for giving my team and me this very strong mandate. The support has come from all communities, across all races. And we will do our best to serve you, work with you, so that we can achieve our vision for Singapore," he said.

While opposition rallies drew thousands of people during the nine day election campaign period, that attendance did not translate into votes.

Mr. Lee urged Singaporeans to put aside their differences now that the elections are over and work together for the good of the country's future. "During these nine days of campaigning, many issues have been raised, many proposals hotly argued, many passions aroused. Now that elections are over, we should come together again as one people," he said.

Analysts say the majority of Singaporeans, who enjoy a high standard of living, are satisfied with the way PAP is running the country, and depend on the government to cater to their basic needs.

While the government delivers a strong economy, housing, health care, and education, it also strictly controls the media, the Internet, and restricts freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

PAP has dominated Singapore politics since independence in 1965.

Voting is compulsory in this wealthy city-state where more than 500 Singaporeans living abroad took part in the country's first overseas vote.

The PAP won with a resounding 66 percent of the vote. Sinking below 61 percent - PAP's worst showing in 1991 where the opposition won four seats - would have been an embarrassment for Mr. Lee.