A proposed law will allow those affected by Covid-19 restrictions such as Stay-Home Notices to vote outside their electoral divisions when elections are called.
The Parliamentary Elections (Covid-19 Special Arrangements) Bill, introduced by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing in Parliament on Tuesday (April 7), will also allow aspiring candidates who are ill to register on Nomination Day without being there in person.
As the Bill has to be debated in Parliament, this means it is not likely to be dissolved during the “circuit breaker” measures in effect from April 7 to May 4.
Currently, the Parliamentary Elections Act requires aspiring candidates to file nomination papers in person.
The Bill will be debated at the next Parliament sitting, which is expected to take place next month, and if approved by Parliament, it will take effect before the next General Election, which has to be held by April 14 next year.
The Elections Department announced last week that it “must make contingency plans to put in place precautionary measures to ensure a safe election, should the next GE take place amid the Covid-19 situation”.
Mr Chan said in Parliament: “The Government is fully focussed on tackling Covid-19. Our immediate priorities include helping affected Singaporeans and companies, and implementing the ‘circuit breaker’ measures to slow down the outbreak.” /TISG