SINGAPORE - A record 12 opposition parties could contest the next general election after the the registration of Red Dot United, a new political party set up by former Progress Singapore Party (PSP) members, was approved.
Despite being formed less than a month ago, the party said it is already prepared to field candidates.
Secretary-general Ravi Philemon, 52, told The Straits Times on Thursday (June 18) that the party had previously said that it was ready for the next general election, and now that it is registered, it is "even more ready".
A Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spokesman confirmed that the party was registered on June 15, though she did not indicate if the request was expedited.
MHA previously said that the average processing time for registering a new political party would be about two months. Red Dot United submitted its application for registration on May 26, and the approval comes after just three weeks.
"We are grateful that the MHA has been very helpful and efficient," said Mr Philemon. "We requested for the ROS (Registry of Societies) to expedite our registration, and we are happy that they considered it."
He said that the party was told the approval needs to be gazetted before it is made official, and that would happen on Thursday or Friday.
There are also other approvals that the party is working on, such as getting its symbol approved.
When asked if he will return to contest Hong Kah North SMC in the next general election, Mr Philemon said it is too early to comment on that.
"Right now, we just got our approval. The CEC (central executive committee) has not met yet. We have to discuss as a party," he said.
Mr Philemon contested the ward under the Singapore People's Party banner in 2015. The Straits Times understands that he was also the PSP's intended candidate for the single-member constituency before he quit in May.
The MP for the ward is the People's Action Party's Dr Amy Khor.