Singapore — The Elections Department (ELD) on Wednesday (June 24) announced more details regarding the new ways that parties can campaign via TV broadcasts and live streaming facilities as there will be no physical political rallies this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This comes after the Writ of Election was issued on Tuesday (June 23), kickstarting the election process. Nomination Day falls on June 30 and Polling Day is on July 10.
With these dates announced, ELD has released guidelines and rules for parties to campaign in order to adhere to the safe distancing measures. Here are some new campaigning guidelines for parties:
Party Political Broadcasts
Two sessions of Party Political Broadcasts (PPBs) will be aired on July 2 and 9 across 19 television and radio channels this year, compared with 13 television and radio channels during the 2015 elections.
PPBs are only eligible for parties with at least six candidates under a recognised party symbol, as per practice in the 2015 elections.
On July 9, Cooling-Off Day, where campaigning is prohibited, PPBs are exempted.
Constituency Political Broadcasts
Also, all parties contesting in the GE will be eligible for the Constituency Political Broadcasts (CPB) and these will be air on Channel 5 between July 3 and 7 and are scheduled to take place from 7 pm onwards.
Each candidate contesting in a Single-Member Constituency (SMC) will be given three minutes to speak.
Similarly, each group of candidates contesting in a Group Representation Constituency (GRC) will be given either 12 minutes or 15 minutes, depending on whether it is a four or five-member GRC.
ELD also stated that candidates and political parties are allowed to conduct walkabouts and door-to-door campaigning, but they must still practise safe-distancing measures. There should be no fist bumps and high fives and they must keep interactions with members of the public short. No crowds should also be allowed to form around candidates.
ELD said: “If members of the public do not comply with safe distancing measures, political parties and candidates are encouraged to disengage and leave the area.”
Furthermore, masks should also not be removed for taking photos or talking to others and should only be allowed to be taken off for eating or drinking.
ELD urges the public to watch the political broadcasts from home and to avoid gathering in public. Citizens are also reminded to not gather or loiter at the Nomination Centres during nomination proceedings.
The guidelines for both CPBs and PPBs would be issued by June 25, by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). /TISG