S'pore GE: Unwell candidates can authorise representative to file nomination papers

Workers' Party and People’s Action Party supporters at Fengshan Nomination Centre on Sept 1, 2015. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Candidates who are unwell do not have to be present at the Nomination Centres on Nomination Day, the Elections Department (ELD) said on Monday (June 8).

Instead, they can authorise a representative to file the nomination papers on their behalf.

In previous elections, candidates were required to show up in person at the Nomination Centre to qualify.

The submission of Political Donation Certificates and certificates from the Malay Community Committee and the Indian and Other Minority Communities Committee, along with the collection of nomination forms, was also done in person at the ELD headquarters. This time round, candidates can do so on the ELD website.

The changes are part of measures rolled out to carry out nominations and polling safely during the next general election, which must held by April 14 next year.

The ELD, in a statement on Monday, said: "As provided for under the Parliamentary Elections (Covid-19 Special Arrangements) Act 2020, an aspiring candidate who is unwell and certified by a medical practitioner to be unfit to attend nomination proceedings in person, can authorise a representative to file his nomination papers."

Parliament approved the new rules in early May to allow special, temporary arrangements to be put in place, should the general election take place amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The candidate's representative must have the power of attorney, including the authorisation to submit nomination papers and raise objections to the nomination papers of other candidates.

The other requirements for successfully filing nomination papers will still need to be fulfilled, such as having the required number of subscribers and submitting a Political Donation Certificate.

Subscribers - who include seconders, proposers and assenters - who are unwell will not be allowed to enter the Nomination Centre, and candidates will need to find someone else to take their place.

The ELD also encouraged candidates and their election agents to use its expanded digital services to prepare the necessary documents required for nomination, in the light of the Covid-19 situation.

It said: "The system will be available for use once the Writ of Election is issued. Those who prefer to submit forms in hard copy can continue to do so, but they should download and print the forms from the ELD website instead of obtaining the forms in person at ELD."

The ELD will also implement steps to ensure safety on Nomination Day.

Temperature screening will be conducted at Nomination Centres and everyone will have to use the SafeEntry app for contact tracing.

Candidates found to have a fever or respiratory symptoms will be directed to a separate area, where they can still inspect the nomination papers of other candidates.

There will be a safe distancing space of 1m between candidates and their subscribers within the Nomination Centre, along with the wearing of masks at all times.

Election officials will be given protective gear, such as surgical masks, disposable gloves, face shields and pocket-sized hand sanitisers, while cleaners will be deployed at all Nomination Centres to ensure a high level of hygiene.

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