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Singapore finance minister leads PM race after getting key party post

City-state's leadership transition advances, but Heng Swee Keat faces mounting challenges

Heng Swee Keat is set to be the front-runner to become Singapore's next prime minister.    © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Singapore's ruling People's Action Party named Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat as its first assistant secretary-general on Friday, an appointment many see as paving the way for the minister to succeed Lee Hsien Loong to the city's premiership.

The first assistant secretary-general post has traditionally been held by a deputy prime minister. The appointment of Heng, 57, puts him a step closer to taking over as Singapore's next prime minister after Lee retires.

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