Up to Workers' Party cadres to decide on new leader: Low Thia Khiang

Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang declined to comment on whether he has a preferred successor. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

SINGAPORE - It is up to the cadres to decide WP's next leader, said Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang.

He reiterated the point when asked if he had any influence over the cadre's decision when the party elects a new secretary-general on April 8.

The Aljunied GRC MP also declined to comment on whether he has a preferred successor.

"The party cadres have to vote and decide who is the next secretary-general. That is our procedure and we will go through that," Mr Low told reporters on Wednesday (Feb 14) evening.

Observers have tipped WP assistant secretary-general Pritam Singh as the front-runner to succeed Mr Low, and the party's Non-Constituency MPs have endorsed Mr Singh for the post.

Mr Low announced last November that he will step down to "make way for new blood", after leading the WP for nearly two decades.

He also declined to say if he would run for a seat on the party's central executive council (CEC), which will be decided during the April 8 internal election as well.

The Straits Times earlier reported that Mr Low may ask the Speaker to allow the new WP secretary-general to take up his current seating position when Parliament opens.

Mr Low now sits across the aisle from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean as the de facto opposition chief. He is the only opposition MP to have a seat in the front row facing the Cabinet ministers.

Asked about this , Mr Low said he intends to inform the Speaker when the CEC has picked its parliament leader and party whip.

"The Speaker should decide on that, whether it's important symbolically to have the new leader sitting at the position," he said.

Parliament will prorogue after the Budget debates, and resume after a mid-term break later this year.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.