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Qatar tribune

Singapore saw its first change in power in 20 years when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong handed the reins to his deputy Lawrence Wong in an oath-taking ceremony on Wednesday evening.

Lee, 72, announced late last year that he would pass the baton to Wong, a 51-year-old US-trained economist. Lee said he wanted the change of power to happen before general elections due in 2025. Wong is only the fourth prime minister of the tiny South East Asian island nation since it became independent in 1965. All of the prime ministers have come from the People’s Action Party (PAP).

Lee is the eldest son of the country’s founder and first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, who held the position from 1959 to 1990. During his more than 30 years in office - and often ruling with a heavy hand - he steered the poor city-state toward prosperity.

The new man at the helm of the economic powerhouse studied economics and public administration in the United States. Wong had been minister of finance and education since 2016. He became deputy prime minister in 2022. (DPA)

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