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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Singapore sets May election date
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Lee Hsien Loong faces the electorate for the first time as PM
Singapore's government has dissolved parliament and announced a general election for 6 May.

This will be the first electoral test for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was appointed in August 2004.

His People's Action Party (PAP), which has ruled the country for four decades, currently controls all but two of the 84 elected seats in the parliament.

The tiny opposition has vowed to campaign for more than half the seats in a bid to upset PAP's dominance.

President SR Nathan, "on the advice of the prime minister, has dissolved parliament", the government said in a statement.

Mr Lee, who is the eldest son of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, did not have to call an election until June 2007.

But speculation had been rife in recent weeks that he would call the ballot early to take advantage of the country's strong economy.

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