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    Aug 20, 2015

    Poa quits as NSP may vie for MacPherson after all

    A THREE-CORNERED fight looks likely in MacPherson SMC at the next general election, after the National Solidarity Party (NSP) said yesterday it is reversing its decision to withdraw from the constituency.

    This came about an hour before acting secretary-general Hazel Poa said she resigned from the party and will not contest the next general election.

    The 44-year-old said she was stepping down because she "strongly disagreed" with the party's decision to reverse its decision to withdraw from MacPherson SMC.

    NSP said it would pull out of Marine Parade GRC and MacPherson last Monday after two rounds of horse-trading talks failed to resolve its overlapping claims with the Workers' Party (WP).

    But the NSP said it had a change of heart after receiving "feedback and pledges of support" from residents of Marine Parade GRC and MacPherson SMC. It said it decided to contest MacPherson SMC after all, given its outreach efforts there before the 2011 General Election. But it will stay out of Marine Parade GRC.

    In the recent electoral boundary review, MacPherson was carved out as a single member constituency from Marine Parade GRC.

    Ms Poa said in her statement yesterday that "as the direction that the party has decided to pursue deviates greatly from my own, I see no choice other than to resign from the NSP".

    NSP central executive committee (CEC) member Steve Chia is said to have strongly pushed for the party to contest MacPherson SMC. This was put to a vote, with a majority of the CEC opting to support Mr Chia's request.

    Ms Poa said that unlike other political parties, the leader of NSP is the president and not the secretary-general, who "plays the role of media spokesperson for the party".

    This is the second time Ms Poa has resigned from NSP.

    Ms Poa, a former government scholarship holder, stepped down as the party's secretary-general in September 2013, citing health reasons. She was appointed as acting secretary-general in June, after Tan Lam Siong resigned as party chief.