Is it possible for Singapore to have a coalition government in the future?

Last updated on November 20, 2023

The coming elections are the most exciting that Singapore has had for a very long time. The PAP has often been questioning the ability of the opposition in being ministers and forming a government. Thus, you may ask yourself, will we ever be seeing PAP form a coalition government with another party in the future?  Perhaps they would be dividing the ministerial positions between them, just like in many other countries where coalition governments seem to be getting more prevalent. How possible is it?

The executive branch of government, that is the prime minister and the Cabinet, is formed in the following way, according to article 25 of the Constitution of Singapore: The president will appoint a Member of Parliament as the prime minister. The condition is that in the president’s judgment, this Member of Parliament commands the confidence of the majority of the Members of Parliament. The rest of the Cabinet (the ministers) are then picked from the other Members of Parliament by the president in consultation with the prime minister.

Thus, a coalition government should only be a possibility in Singapore when the PAP does not have a majority in Parliament, such that it has to work together with another party in order for their choice of prime minister to command the confidence of the majority of the Members of Parliament.

In an indication that coalition politics may eventually come to Singapore one, 4 opposition parties came to an agreement to work together ahead of the general election which must be held by November 2025.

In the agreement, the National Solidarity Party, Red Dot United, Singapore People’s Party and Singapore United Party (SUP) promised to avoid three-cornered contests, form a manifesto and explore the possibility of sharing candidates during elections, laying the possible groundwork for a “coalition”.