SINGAPORE has a new opposition party, which plans to invite Chiam See Tong, former head of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), to be a candidate in the next general election. The Singapore People's Party (SPP), formed by members of an SDP breakaway faction, announced this after receiving approval from the Registrar of Societies to engage in political activities. The formation of the SPP means there are now six parties vying for votes in a political environment dominated by the ruling People's Action Party (PAP). But since three have had limited impact on the political scene and neither of the two main opposition parties, the SDP and Workers' Party, are expected to field full slates, the PAP could find itself challenged by the SPP in electorates where it has previously had walkovers. The new party has emerged at a time when analysts believe government policies, mainly in areas affecting consumers, have created the potential for a stronger opposition vote. There is unlikely to be a three-way contest between the SDP, Workers' Party and SPP for opposition votes, as the latter has pledged not to enter candidates in wards traditionally contested by the SDP. The formation of the SPP arose out of a split in the SDP between supporters of Mr Chiam and his then-deputy, Chee Soon Juan. Mr Chiam resigned as secretary-general after he lost the support of the majority of the executive committee in a dispute over his style of leadership and his criticism of Dr Chee, who is now SDP acting secretarygeneral. He later successfully contested a court move by the committee to oust him from the party and remains one of three SDP members of Parliament. Sin Kek Tong, secretarygeneral of the new party, said the SPP would ask Mr Chiam to cross over from the SDP when Parliament is next dissolved. Since Mr Chiam would lose his seat in Parliament if he resigned from the SDP, he is not expected to join the SPP until an election is called. Mr Sin has said the SPP would aim to be a 'moderate version of the SDP'. He said the current SDP leadership had 'drifted away from the traditional moderate policy of the party'. Mr Chiam has expressed similar views, stating that it was not necessary to oppose the Government 'for the sake of opposition'.