“Queensland just went ahead with its local elections despite the coronavirus”, pointed out Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong in a Facebook post yesterday (Mar 30).
His comments come as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Mar 27) gave the strongest signal yet that he plans to press ahead with calling a snap general election soon. His indications follow despite his People’s Action Party (PAP) and opposition parties temporarily stopping door-to-door campaigning to comply with tightened social distancing measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I think it is a very difficult decision because we are going into a very big storm and you want to have the strongest team and mandate, and the longest runway so that Singapore can have the best leadership to see it through this storm”, PM Lee said.
In his Facebook post, ESM Goh noted that “Others have held off their elections. There are pros and cons either way”.
Parliament is due to sit on April 6, which comes at about the same time an ongoing process for the voter roll – currently open for public inspection – is expected to be certified and republished. Once the voter roll has been republished, PM Lee has full powers to dissolve parliament to start the process of holding the elections.
Mr Lee said it is a “very difficult decision” on whether an election is called during the current situation, but added that he “would not rule any possibility out”.
In his post, ESM Goh added, “I am sure PM will weigh all the factors carefully in deciding when to call our General Elections. I have confidence in his judgment and wisdom to make the right decision in Singaporeans’ interest”. /TISG