SINGAPORE: The Parliamentary Elections (COVID-19 Special Arrangements) Bill was introduced in Singapore’s Parliament today, according to the Elections Department (ELD).
The Bill will allow the ELD to implement temporary arrangements to ensure the safety of voters, candidates and election officials should the next General Election (GE) take place amid the COVID19 situation.
On its website, the ELD said the Bill formed part of its contingency planning for the next GE, which has to be held by April 14, 2021.
“The provisions in the Bill are temporary arrangements, and will only apply to the next GE, and not to any election held after the stipulated date,” it said.
ELD said the provisions in the Bill would allow the electors who are subject to COVID-19 stay orders to vote outside of their electoral divisions, such as the designated facilities at which they are staying.
“This ensures that voters on stay orders will not mingle with other voters while voting,” it said.
ELD said it will also allow an aspiring candidate to authorise a representative to file his nomination paper on his behalf, if he is unable or unfit to do so because of the COVID-19 quarantine order or stay order, hospitalised or ill.
Currently, ELD said the Parliamentary Elections Act requires aspiring candidates to file nomination papers in person.
As the health and safety of voters, candidates and elections officials is paramount, ELD said it is reviewing its election process, and putting in place necessary precautionary measures, in compliance with prevailing advisories from the Health Ministry.
“This is to ensure the safety and health of the people should the GE take place amid the COVID-19 situation,” it said.