There were a chorus of protests from the opposition parties on the possibility of an early elections during the Corona Virus outbreak. And if the government were to call the elections in the next two months and assuming that the current social distancing measures are still in place, we’ll witness a very different General Elections this time.
Two opposition politicians weigh in on the timing of the elections in the midst of a global COVID-19 pandemic.
The contest this time around will depend on the respective party’s ability to persuade the electorate and with PAP’s dominance on social media, it looks like they are well positioned to take advantage of the current situation.
The government has also received praise for handling the COVID 19 pandemic and the control measures are largely effective. As of now, there is a ban on large gatherings and many events have been either postponed or cancelled.
This brings into question about the nature of the upcoming elections, wouldn’t it be irresponsible of the government to hold the general elections now? Wouldn’t this increase the risk of contagion?
“GE should absolutely not be held before the Covid-19 crisis passes. If the PAP does hold it during the crisis, it will be beyond the pale. It would mean that the PAP is hoping that there will be less public participation as People would be wary of attending campaign events such as rallies. Democracy would be the loser,” said Mr Lim Tean of People’s voice
And he went on to say that holding the GE during the crises would hamper their efforts in terms of reaching out to the various communities and voter segments.
“The ruling party of the day should focus and concentrate on managing the virus crisis instead of being distracted by the election. Opposition parties as a whole will definitely be gravely disadvantaged in such a situation whereby Social Distancing is supposed to be observed.” said Mr Goh Meng Seng of PPP
PAP government has put up social distancing measures which put restrictions on mass gathering. This can be seen as a deliberate effort to restrict or even ban mass rallies for the coming GE if it is called in the near future.
Two other opposition parties, the SDP and SPP are also concerned about the timing of the elections.
The PAP is just not keeping COVID 19 at bay, it is keeping the politicians at bay.