Singapore GE2020: Election deposit for candidates set at $13,500

Given that the current fixed monthly allowance is $13,750, the election deposit has been rounded down to $13,500. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Candidates contesting in this year's general election will need to pay $13,500, or $1,000 less than in the 2015 election.

This and other details were revealed on Tuesday (June 23) by the Elections Department (ELD) in a press release, shortly after President Halimah Yacob dissolved Parliament and issued the Writ of Election.

Polling Day will be on July 10, a Friday, and Nomination Day is on June 30.

Following changes to the Parliamentary Elections Act in 2018, candidates who contest a general election will now pay less for an election deposit, and have the option to use electronic funds transfer.

The formula to compute the election deposit has been simplified - it is now the fixed monthly allowance payable to an elected Member of Parliament for the month immediately before the date of dissolution of Parliament, rounded to the nearest $500.

Given that the current fixed monthly allowance is $13,750, the election deposit has been rounded down to $13,500.

Previously, the computation was a sum equal to 8 per cent of the total allowances payable to an MP in the preceding calendar year, rounded to the nearest $500. This worked out to $14,500, which was collected at the 2015 General Election.

In view of the Covid-19 situation, candidates are encouraged to use the digital services at the ELD website to prepare their nomination papers.

This will enable them to check that their subscribers belong to the right electoral division, and to print their papers before Nomination Day. They can also download the nomination papers from the website.

The nomination papers must be delivered in duplicate to the Returning Officer at the respective nomination centres between 11am and noon on Nomination Day.

The candidate, or group of candidates, must be accompanied by a proposer, a seconder and at least four assenters when delivering the nomination papers.

Each candidate must also apply for a Political Donation Certificate from the Registrar of Political Donations no later than this Friday.

For groups of candidates seeking election in a group representation constituency, a relevant certificate from either the Malay Community Committee or the Indian and Other Minority Communities Committee is required.

A candidate who is unable or unfit to file his nomination paper because of a Covid-19 stay-home notice or quarantine order, or if he is hospitalised or in ill health, may authorise a representative to file the nomination paper on his behalf.

The authorised representative must be a Singapore citizen who is entitled to vote. He must also possess a power of attorney expressly authorising him to represent and act on behalf of the candidate at nomination proceedings.

Safety precautions, such as temperature screening, will be put in place at the nomination centres. Those under a stay-home notice or quarantine order, on medical leave for acute respiratory infection (ARI), or who have a fever or ARI symptoms, will not be allowed to enter the centres.

Veteran civil servant Tan Meng Dui - who is chief executive officer of the National Environment Agency - is the Returning Officer, having taken over the post from Mr Ng Wai Choong in December 2017.

The election, Singapore's 13th since independence, is likely to again see the People's Action Party challenged for all seats - as was the case in 2015.

There are 14 single-member constituencies, six four-member GRCs and 11 five-member GRCs being contested this year. The number of elected MPs will increase from the current 89 to 93.

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