Mr Jeffrey George, who was arrested for a drug offence last week, is no longer chairman of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), party secretary-general Chee Soon Juan said yesterday.
Dr Chee told reporters that an Ordinary Members' Conference was held last Saturday to elect a new Central Executive Committee (CEC). Mr George, 51, was not present at the meeting and could not be contacted, he added.
"We did not know his whereabouts at that time," Dr Chee said.
As a result, Dr Wong Souk Yee, 56, an adjunct lecturer who was a candidate in Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC for the Sept 11 General Election, was elected chairman. Mr George no longer holds any CEC position.
Dr Chee was speaking to reporters at an Institute of Policy Studies conference where he was a panellist. He said the party conference was a routine one and had nothing to do with events surrounding Mr George, a shipping engineer who was elected chairman in October 2013.
On Tuesday, the Central Narcotics Bureau confirmed that Mr George had been arrested for drug-related offences and investigations are ongoing.
Dr Chee said the news of his arrest came as a shock, and that Mr George had all along discharged his duties as an SDP member and leader with professionalism.
Mr George was an election agent for Dr Chee and SDP vice-chairman John Tan in September's general election.
Yesterday, Dr Chee added that he last spoke to Mr George early last week but there did not appear to be anything out of the ordinary.
He also said he was still waiting for updates on the situation. "I have only as much information as you do," he said. "We'll have more information for you if anything comes up."
Dr Chee also said the party will be releasing a press statement on the new CEC soon.