In a statement yesterday, the Elections Department said the PSP had informed Returning Officer Tan Meng Dui of its decision to nominate the two candidates for the NCMP seats.
Mr Tan had written to the PSP on Monday, asking the party to inform him who it is nominating to take up the seats. The PSP gave its decision on Tuesday, ahead of the July 20 deadline, the statement added.
Mr Leong, 60, is the party’s assistant secretary-general, while Ms Poa, 49, is its vice-chairman. They were part of the PSP team in West Coast GRC that emerged the top loser in last Friday’s election, thus becoming eligible for the NCMP seats.
The team, led by PSP chief Tan Cheng Bock, secured 48.31 per cent of the votes against a People’s Action Party team led by Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran.
The minimum number of opposition MPs in Parliament was increased from nine to 12 as a result of changes made to the NCMP scheme in 2016. The changes also give NCMPs the same voting rights as elected MPs.
In last Friday’s election, the Workers’ Party (WP) won Aljunied GRC, Sengkang GRC and Hougang SMC – resulting in 10 WP members being elected to Parliament.
That left two NCMP seats vacant for opposition MPs to fill.
Ms Poa on Tuesday said that as an NCMP, she will help to represent the views of voters who supported the team in the general election.
She said: “This is an opportunity for us to bring their voices into Parliament. So we will want to, over the next five years, continue to engage West Coast residents to find out in more detail what their issues are, because we actually haven’t had much time before this.”
Mr Leong said he and Ms Poa will be supported by a PSP team made up of younger members who have stood for elections before and are “quite qualified”. The PSP will also tap professionals and experts from outside the party, he added.
He said that both of them are looking forward to working with WP chief and Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh and his party. Mr Singh is set to be appointed Leader of the Opposition, the first time such a position has been formalised.