The Elections Department (ELD) has debunked a viral message circulating on platforms like HardwareZone, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp that states that the next General Elections (GE) will be held from 21 September 2019 onwards.
The message stated that Parliament will be dissolved on 31 August and that Nomination Day will take place on 10 September before the people go to the polls on 21 September. It added that teachers are being notified to prepare for election duties accordingly:
The ELD has since debunked this statement. Asserting that the information is “fake news” and that it did not originate from the ELD, the authority told MS News on Tuesday (13 Aug):
“The dates for nomination and polling mentioned in the online forum/WhatsApp are not from the Elections Department. It is also not true that teachers have received such a notification. They are fake news.”
Although many Singaporeans have speculated that the next election – which must be held by 15 April 2021 – could be called as early as this year, there are no clear indications that the GE will take place in 2019.
The clearest indication of when the GE might occur would be the formation of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC), which decides how electoral wards should be drawn or altered. The Prime Minister usually convenes the EBRC, which typically takes 2-4 months to decide on how the electoral wards should be re-drawn.
While some speculate that the next GE would be called in September 2019, this may be unlikely since the EBRC would need a few months to decide on the drawing of the electoral map, once convened. It is also unlikely that an election will be called at the end of the year, due to the school holiday period.
Last month, Minister for Trade and Industry and second assistant secretary-general of the ruling party, Chan Chun Sing, confirmed that the EBRC has not been formed. Mainstream media publication TODAY took this as a sign that the next GE is “not imminent.”