In an address to the nation on 23 June, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that he has advised President Halimah Yacob to dissolve Parliament and issue the Writ of Election.
PM Lee Advises President Hamilah Yacob To Dissolve Parliament, Issue Writ Of Election
President Halimah Yacob, on the advice of Prime Minister Lee, announced the dissolution of Parliament at 4.20 pm on Tuesday (23 June).
The President has also agreed to have the Nomination Day on 30 June, with the minimum of nine days to campaign before Cooling-off Day on Cooling-off Day on 9 July. Polling Day will be on 10 July, which will be a public holiday.
President Halimah Yacob | Image source: Halima Yacob/Facebook
Mr Lee said holding the elections now will give the new Government a fresh five-year mandate to focus on the national agenda and the “difficult decisions it will have to make.”
Singapore must elect a new Government by April 2021, and according to PM Lee, there is no assurance that the pandemic will be over before the current Government’s term must end.
“This is why I have decided to hold the General Election now,” he says.
Mr Lee noted that he had to be certain of two things: that voters can vote safely, and political parties can campaign effectively, before deciding to proceed with the election. “I am satisfied that both of these can be done,” he said.
The Elections Department has also made arrangements and issued guidelines to ensure effective campaigning, PM Lee says.
Woman walking while wearing a facemask in front of Singapore’s Parliament building during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic lockdown and social distancing. | Image source: iStock / TiagoBaiao
Singapore General Elections 2020 (GE2020) will take place in phase 2 of Singapore’s reopening after a two-month circuit breaker that was imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. It will be fought against the backdrop of what is considered the “most dangerous crisis humanity has faced in a very long time.”
In view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation, safety precautions including temperature screening will be put in place at the Nomination Centre, the Elections Department said.
Meanwhile, Mr Lee said: “candidates can still go house-to-house campaigning, provided they observe the safe distancing precautions.” He noted, however, that physical election rallies will not be possible, but this will be made up with more opportunities for candidates to “speak directly to voters on television, and of course online, for example via live streaming.”