Singapore Finance Minister named to key party role in hunt for PM successor

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's finance minister, Lawrence Wong, has been chosen as leader of the ruling People's Action Party's fourth generation (4G) team, paving the way for him to potentially become the city-state's next prime minister.

"This decision is a crucial one for Singapore. It will ensure the continuity and stability of leadership that are the hallmarks of our system," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday in a social media post. He added he would also make adjustments to the cabinet.

Stability has long been one of wealthy Singapore's major strengths, making it a haven for investors and businesses in a region where political upheaval is not uncommon.

Leadership succession in the Southeast Asian city-state - which has been governed by the People’s Action Party (PAP) since 1965 - is normally a carefully planned affair.

But an unexpected decision last year by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat to step aside as designated successor to Lee Hsien Loong disrupted leadership planning.

4G refers to the ruling party's so-called fourth generation team of younger leaders. Wong has been touted by analysts to be one of the top candidates for future premier.

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)

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