Govt to table Bill making provisions for holding a safe election amid Covid-19 outbreak

A voter at Teck Ghee Primary School on Polling Day on Sept 11, 2015.
A voter at Teck Ghee Primary School on Polling Day on Sept 11, 2015.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A Bill will be introduced in Parliament next week to facilitate the temporary arrangements necessary for holding a safe general election while Covid-19 measures are in effect.

Responding to media queries about the Parliamentary Elections (Covid-19 Special Arrangements) Bill on Friday (April 3), the Elections Department (ELD) said that the health and safety of voters, candidates and election officials are paramount.

The ELD thus "must make contingency plans to put in place precautionary measures to ensure a safe election, should the next GE take place amid the Covid-19 situation".

"The Bill contains the necessary legislative provisions to allow ELD to implement temporary arrangements to ensure the safety of voters, candidates and election officials during parliamentary elections held on or before 14 April 2021," it added.

The next general election must be held by April 14, 2021. The Bill, if approved by Parliament, will take effect before the next general election.

 
 

Details of the precautionary measures are not yet available. However, the latest Covid-19 measures, which limit gatherings outside of work and school to 10 people or fewer until April 30, mean traditional forms of campaigning like rallies will not be feasible, should these rules still be in place when the hustings begin.

MPs The Straits Times spoke to have said they would turn to social media, messaging apps and even real-time video streaming to reach out to voters.