Covid-19: Proposed law to allow affected voters and candidates to take part in next General Election
SINGAPORE — Voters who are diagnosed with Covid-19 and isolated in hospitals, or those who have been issued quarantine orders and stay-home notices, may soon be able to vote in the upcoming General Election (GE) should it take place during a pandemic, the Elections Department (ELD) said on Tuesday (April 7).
These voters may be able to cast their ballot from the designated facilities where they are isolated or quarantined, if the newly tabled Parliamentary Elections (Covid-19 Special Arrangements) Bill passes.
“This ensures that voters on stay orders will not mingle with other voters while voting,” said the ELD.
Another provision in the proposed law would allow aspiring candidates to authorise a proxy to file nomination papers on his behalf if he cannot do so due to Covid-19. This would replace the need for them to file the papers in person on Nomination Day.
If passed, these measures would only apply if the GE, which must be held by April 14, 2021, is called amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The temporary arrangements will not apply to any election held after that.
The Bill was introduced by Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing in Parliament on Tuesday (April 7).
Responding to media queries on behalf of Mr Chan, the ELD said: “This Bill forms part of ELD’s contingency planning for the next GE. It is not related to the timing of the GE.”
“The Prime Minister will decide when to call the election, taking into account the challenges confronting our country, including the evolving Covid-19 situation.”
The ELD said the Government is fully focused on tackling the health crisis, adding: “Our immediate priorities include helping affected Singaporeans and companies, and implementing the circuit breaker measures to slow down the outbreak.”
The full wording of the Bill will be released later on Tuesday when it is gazetted.
The Bill will be debated at the next available Parliament sitting, which is expected to take place next month.
Singapore Politics Election
Leave a comment in Nestia App