Singapore – As speculation on the date of the General Elections (GE) continues, Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan has suggested a number of ways on how to make the GE a “fair and meaningful process,” amid the country’s efforts in battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Monday (June 8), Dr Chee took to Facebook to suggest several ways to achieve a fair GE process for all.
Extend the period between the issuance of the Writ of Election and Nomination Day
Dr Chee’s first suggestion was to extend the time frame between the Writ of Election and Nomination Day from five to 10 days to allow parties to make the necessary logistical preparations. This includes providing volunteers and polling agents with safety equipment, said the party leader. “This is especially important if the Elections Department (ELD) only announces the election rules following the issuance of the Writ,” he added.
Campaign period to last 21 days
Parties are currently allowed to campaign for nine days. Dr Chee suggested this be extended to 21 days so that the “weighty issues” confronting the country could be properly tacked on air and in print.
The rest of Dr Chee’s points focused on giving parties access to mainstream media outlets and the residents themselves. He requested access to Mediacorp TV channels every night, over and above the traditional political broadcasts as well as access to radio programmes every day. Included in the suggestion was reserved space in newspapers for parties to publish their manifestos and to discuss ideas and proposals.
Lastly, Dr Chee asked for parties to be allowed to address residents at food centres, void decks and common areas, given the proper social distancing and safety precautions are followed.
Members from the online community quickly shared their opinions on Dr Chee’s proposals. They noted that with or without media coverage or ample time to prepare, they would support the opposition. A few advised Dr Chee and SDP as a whole to not waste time with such suggestions as they would fall on deaf ears. “Focus on reaching out to your supporters and the public via digital means if necessary,” said Mick Js who urged the party to start working as if the elections were to happen tomorrow.
“With or without rally or TV broadcast, I do believe the majority of Singaporeans are waiting earnestly for the GE, to vote for the opposition,” said Choo Jimmy.
Meanwhile, Zyan Tan perceives first and foremost, the GE should not be held during an unprecedented crisis and proposed scheduling it in the last quarter of 2020 or early next year. Many responded to the comment, saying to vote wisely whenever the elections push through.
To make the GE a fair and meaningful process, the SDP calls for the following: 1. Extend the period between the…
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