SINGAPORE, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Singapore will have a by-election for a single-member constituency after former parliament speaker Michael Palmer resigned recently over an extra-marital affair, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Wednesday.
The nomination day for the Punggol East constituency will be Jan. 16, and the polling day will be Jan. 26 if more than one candidate stand for nominations, according to the writ of election issued by the president.
It will be the fourth election since May 2011 in Singapore, after the general elections, the presidential election, and a by- election after opposition lawmaker Yaw Shin Leong was expelled in February in 2012 by his party over an extra-marital affair.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he had decided to hold a by- election in Punggol East to give the residents their own member of parliament, before Singapore focuses back on national issues.
"We have a busy national agenda this year. The White Paper on Population will soon be debated in Parliament. Budget 2013 is around the corner. The Our Singapore Conversation is translating the views of citizens into programmes to improve our lives," he said in a statement.
Several opposition parties have either voiced or shown their interest in running in the by-election.
The People's Action Party, which has been ruling the city state over the past decades, has 81 of the 87 elected seats in the parliament, despite losing a five-member group constituency for the first time in the general election in May 2011.