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Presidential Election to be held in September

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    QX179R's Avatar
    80,248 posts since Feb '08
    • Presidential Election to be held in September to avoid National Day celebrations

      SINGAPORE: If contested, the next Presidential Election, which has been reserved for Malay candidates, will be held in September rather than in August, which is when voting typically takes place. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Chan Chun Sing, announced this in Parliament during the second reading of the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill. The date revision does not require changes to the law. The Government is announcing changes early for transparency and so that prospective candidates can be aware of the changes.

      In his speech, Mr Chan provided the reason for the shift in timing. He said voting for a new president has typically been held in the last week of August, to ensure the process falls within the term of the sitting President, which ends on Aug 31.

      In 2011 for example, the Writ of Election was issued in the first week of August. Mr Chan said campaigning began shortly after National Day, and coincided with the month-long National Day celebrations. The revised timing would ensure the election is not held during the celebrations.

      For the upcoming election, Mr Chan said the government will issue a Writ in the later part of August, before President Tony Tan’s term expires. The shift of the election from August to September will also “reset the clock” so that future elections will take place outside the National Day period.

      Mr Chan said the Constitution allows for an acting President to assume office from the end of the incumbent President’s term until a new President assumes office.

      “If a new President is not elected by the time President Tony Tan’s term expires on Aug 31... the Constitution provides for the Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers or, if he is unavailable, the Speaker, to be the acting President. The acting President cannot exercise the functions of the President indefinitely,” he said.

      Mr Chan said current laws allow for changes to the timing of the polls to be made in time for this year’s Presidential election.

      The shift in timing will also cater to the longer time period required to assess prospective candidates as part of legislative changes.

      Under proposed changes to the Act, the deadline for prospective candidates to apply for a certificate of eligibility (COE) will be extended to five days after the Writ is issued. This is up from the current three days. This will give candidates more time to prepare their applications.

      Another change being proposed is that nomination day be held at least 10 days after the day the Writ is issued, up from the current five days. 

      - CNA/mo
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    FireIce's Avatar
    262,391 posts since Dec '99
    QX179R's Avatar
    80,248 posts since Feb '08
    • Parliament passes changes to Presidential Elections Act

      SINGAPORE: Parliament passed changes on Monday (Feb 6) to the Presidential Elections Act that will give prospective candidates more time to prepare their applications, and for authorities to better assess their eligibility. Under amendments to the Constitution, which were passed last year, the next Presidential Election will be reserved for Malay candidates.

      Like previous elections, prospective candidates can apply for the certificate of eligibility (COE) from Jun 1, or three months before the end of the incumbent President’s term. But their deadline to apply for a COE will now be extended to five days after the Writ of Election is issued, compared to three days previously.

      Changes were also made to the timeline leading up to Nomination Day, which is when candidates present their papers and certificates to the Returning Officer. It is also on this date when the Returning Officer declares if the only nominated candidate will be elected as President, or if there will be an election based on how many candidates are nominated. Nomination Day will now be held at least 10 days after the Writ is issued, an increase from the current five days.


      Prospective candidates will now need to submit their applications to the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) and a new community declaration to the new Community Committee. The Committee will constitute 16 members - the chairman and three sub-committees with five members each from the Chinese, Malay as well as Indian or other minority communities.

      In his speech during the second reading of the Bill, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing said the PEC must reject a candidate’s application if he or she does not submit the community declaration.

      “The community declaration is essential to the functioning of the certification process for the reserved election,” he said. Mr Chan said the declaration determines the community to which every person elected as President belongs. This is important as it sets out whether a future election needs to be reserved for candidates of a particular community. He said the declaration also ensures that only people of that particular community are qualified to stand if an election is reserved.


      In a reserved election, the Community Committee will accept a candidate's declaration only if he or she identifies himself to the community for which the election is reserved. The Committee will then refer the declaration to the sub-committee for that particular community.

      In the case of the upcoming election which has been reserved for the Malay community, the Committee will refer declarations of candidates to the Malay sub-committee. The Community Committee will only issue a certificate if the candidate has been satisfied to belong to that particular community. 

      Candidates will have to submit community declarations during open elections as well, but can run for elections if they have not received a community declaration but still meet all other eligibility criteria. 

      Prospective candidates during the next election will also have to submit a statutory declaration in which they declare their understanding of the role of the President as it is set out in the Constitution. 

      "This ensures that the prospective candidate is aware of the constitutional powers of the President, and is also aware of the constitutional limits of the Presidential office," Mr Chan said. 


      Amendments to the Act included making changes to what constitutes a vote on the ballot paper. Mr Chan said disputes arose in previous elections over whether a mark over a candidate's photo or name could count towards a vote. Under new rules, the Returning Officer can only consider marks made by voters in demarcated areas on the ballot paper. 

      Returning Officers will also be required to carry out a recount if the difference in votes between a candidate with the most votes and the number of votes given to another candidate is two per cent or less of the total number of valid votes cast. Previously, this requirement depended on whether a candidate or counting agent made an application for a recount. 

      - CNA/mo
  • gekpohboy's Avatar
    1,477 posts since Mar '16
    • To be honest, I already know who to NOT vote, if he contests in the upcoming presidential election.

      Quite high chance I will spoil my vote, if there's no candidate that I like.

  • Honeybunz's Avatar
    15,894 posts since Apr '02
    • Sep got school holiday. If the voting day falls within, then many singaporean parents holidaying with kids, not in Sg.  How?

  • Alwin23's Avatar
    4 posts since Apr '17
    • Think before you vote, I don't usually vote. It makes me sick whenever I hear a bad news from the person who is elected and got my vote.

  • TehJarVu's Avatar
    116,268 posts since Dec '03
  • Ronn.Teo's Avatar
    2 posts since Apr '17
  • lce's Avatar
    2,458 posts since Jun '11
    • waa.... holiday coming . thanks to mee siam mai hum. wonder which YES MAN he giving his hum or giving his char kway teow n keep his hum?  

  • Henryflynn430's Avatar
    1 post since Apr '17
    • Elections in September then have formation then we have Presidential elections. Finally our control to the new government.

      Edited by FireIce 21 Apr `17, 7:53PM
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