Singapore's Lee resigns from ruling party's decision-making body
Oct 5, 2011, 15:28 GMT
Singapore - Singapore state founder and first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew has stepped down from the highest decision-making body of his long-ruling People's Action Party (PAP), which he co-founded in 1954, the party said Wednesday.
With the move, the 88-year-old continued his retreat from the political scene following his resignation as cabinet minister in May after the PAP posted its worst election result in decades.
The party's central executive committee accepted the resignation of six of its members, including Lee, former prime minister Goh Chok Tong and former foreign minister George Yeo, 'who proposed to step down to facilitate leadership renewal,' the PAP said in a statement.
The party 'has much work ahead of it to strengthen its roots, extend its outreach, and convince a new generation of voters to support its ideals, vision, and programmes,' said Secretary General and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The change in the committee would enable the party to 'form a team which can lead and prepare the PAP for the next general elections by 2016,' he said.
In May's parliamentary election, the PAP won 60.1 per cent of the votes, down from 66.6 per cent in the last election in 2006, while the opposition in the tightly controlled city-state gained historic victories, winning a record six of 87 seats.
As a consequence, the elder Lee, who was prime minister from 1959-90 and recently served as minister mentor in the cabinet of his son, quit his cabinet post to make way 'for a younger generation.'