SINGAPORE - From July 3 to July 7, Singaporeans will be able to watch political candidates speak during prime time on television, with the special broadcasts arranged for the various constituencies scheduled to run from 7pm on these days.
Two party political broadcasts will also be aired during this general election, on July 2 and on July 9, which is Cooling-Off Day.
These party political broadcasts are among the exceptions to the prohibition of campaign activities on the day, which is meant for voters to think about their choice.
With large physical rallies disallowed during GE2020, in line with health advisories to curb the spread of the contagious coronavirus, the political broadcasts on national TV have taken on an added significance for candidates to get their message across.
In particular, the Government has arranged for special constituency political broadcasts, so all candidates have a chance to address voters on TV.
For these constituency-based broadcasts, each candidate will get three minutes to speak.
This means that the broadcast for a single-member constituency will last for three minutes, while that for a group representation constituency will be 12 or 15 minutes depending on whether it is a four or five-member GRC.
Recordings for these broadcasts will start from July 2, and candidates can choose to speak in any of the four official languages of English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, said the Elections Department on Wednesday (June 24).
This means dialect, which is sometimes spoken at rallies, will not be allowed.
Starting from July 3, these constituency broadcasts will be aired on Channel 5.
The constituency broadcasts may be the only way that some parties may get TV airtime, as the party political broadcast time slots will be offered only to parties that are fielding at least six candidates under a recognised party symbol.
This rule, which was already in place for the 2015 election, will remain this time around.
The ELD said eligible parties will be informed of their allocated time for their party political broadcasts on Nomination Day.
As with the constituency broadcasts, these party-level broadcasts can be delivered only in the four official languages.
These broadcasts will be aired across 19 TV and radio channels from 7pm onwards on July 2 and July 9.
The ELD said all broadcasts should not contain content that is of a libellous or criminal nature.
It added that the Infocomm Media Development Authority will be issuing more guidelines on the party and constituency political broadcasts by Thursday.