Singapore President Halimah Yacob announced the dissolution of Parliament today (23 June) and scheduled the next General Election to take place early next month.
A Writ of Election, which specifies the date of the polls, is set to be issued shortly. The Prime Minister’s Office said that Nomination Day has been scheduled for next Tuesday, 30 June.
In a televised national address at 4pm on June 23, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he chose to call the election now to “clear the decks” while the COVID-19 situation remains relatively stable and give the new Government a renewed five-year mandate.
This reasoning is in the vein of an earlier statement Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat made, when he said the sooner the election is called, the sooner the Government can rally the people against the challenges ahead.
There will be 31 electoral divisions and 93 seats up for grabs in the upcoming election – a higher number than the 29 wards and 93 seats in Parliament currently. The ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) will contest all 31 wards and 93 seats while the Workers’ Party – the only opposition party that was elected into Parliament in the last term of Government – is expected to contest five wards and field 20 candidates.
The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) announced that it plans to contest Holland-Bukit Timah GRC and Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, as well as Bukit Batok SMC, Bukit Panjang SMC and Yuhua SMC. The Singapore People’s Party (SPP) has said that it will only contest Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and Potong Pasir SMC with a slate of five candidates.
The Reform Party (RP) said that it intends to contest West Coast GRC, Ang Mo Kio GRC, Radin Mas SMC and Yio Chu Kang SMC. The Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) plans to contest Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.
The remaining opposition parties have yet to unveil their plans and are expected to do so in the coming days.
The election this year will be vastly different from the elections in previous cycles given the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that have been put in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.
The Elections’ Department (ELD) confirmed last week that physical rallies, thank-you processions and gatherings of supporters at the nomination centres or assembly areas on Nomination Day and Polling Day will not be allowed to take place during the upcoming election.
Walkabouts and door-to-door campaigning are permitted but will be restricted to groups of five who must wear masks and abide by safe distancing measures. Groups canvassing the same area must not mix and must maintain at least 1m distance. Those who are walking the ground are asked to minimise physical contact, such as handshakes.
Given the restrictions candidates face, the ELD will provide all political parties with extra television airtime to communicate their messages to voters instead.
The ELD also issued COVID-safe guidelines on nominating and polling procedures. Read more about the new election guidelines for parties, candidates and voters here: