Singapore — The National Solidarity Party (NSP) has said that it will challenge the legitimacy of the next General Election (GE) if it called in haste, in a statement published on Friday (May 29).
The opposition party’s statement comes after Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat hinted that the next GE may be around the corner.
On Wednesday (May 27), Mr Heng said on CNA that it is better to hold the next GE sooner rather than later. He said that the earlier the GE is held, “the earlier we can rally everybody together to deal with these very significant challenges ahead, and also to deal with these very significant uncertainties in the months and years ahead”.
When asked whether the people will have to wait for Singapore to fully re-open before going to the polls, he said: “The sooner that we can deal with the longer term challenges, the better Singaporeans will emerge out of this, and Singapore will emerge stronger. So I would say that, yes, elections are coming nearer by the day, and you have to be prepared for it.”
Opposition parties, however, have pointed out that the Government has yet to publish clear rules on how campaigning methods will be modified in view of Covid-19 and that the delay in publishing the rules is unfair to the opposition if the election is held shortly.
The NSP has gone so far as to say that it will question the legitimacy of the next GE if it is held “in haste”. Sharing that it was extremely concerned with Mr Heng’s latest remarks on the timing of the GE, the party said: “Despite several high profile Ministers making promises since March to ensure a democratic and safe GE, nothing specific has been released.”
Asking how the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) will ensure that the impending GE is held in a “fair, democratic and importantly, safe manner”, the NSP accused the PAP of creating favourable laws to ensure its own electoral victory. It added that it will question the legitimacy of the GE if clear rules are not published with ample time for parties to prepare.
Read the NSP’s statement in full here:
In case you are not able to read the text above:
“NSP QUESTIONS THE PAP GOVERNMENT ON THE LEGITIMACY OF THE GENERAL ELECTION IF HELD IN HASTE.
“The National Solidarity Party is extremely concern with Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s keen announcement in a media interview on 27 May 2020 that the General Elections (GE) should be held soon. He further said, “Yes, elections are coming nearer by the day, and you have to be prepared for it”.
“The PAP government was stellar in handling the initial outbreak but complacency set in when awarded the gold star. Without hindsight, it is nothing but mediocre in handling the unexpected outbreak, which has been duly acknowledged by several ministers in the taskforce. The PAP has proven to be incapable of anticipating and handling novel and unexpected situations. Despite several high profile Ministers making promises since March to ensure a democratic and safe GE, nothing specific has been released.
“NSP is deeply concern on how is PAP going to ensure the impending GE will be held in a fair, democratic and importantly, safe manner? Given that PAP’s strength in ingenuity is creating favorable laws for its Party’s victory, not in a fairer and more democratic system, we question the legitimacy of the GE should no clear guidelines are being made with ample time for Singaporeans and various Parties to voice their opinions on opaque regulations.” /TISG