SINGAPORE: Singaporeans will go to the ballot box onSep 11 to elect 89 Members of Parliament in 29 constituencies.
Polling Day was announced after President Tony Tan Keng Yam, on the advice of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, dissolved Singapore's 12th Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 25).
Acting on the Prime Minister’s advice, the President also issued a Writ of Election. The Writ specifies that Nomination Day is on Sep 1.
"I call this General Election to seek your mandate to take Singapore beyond SG50 into its next half century," wrote Prime Minister Lee on Facebook, shortly after the Writ was issued.
"You will be deciding who will govern Singapore for the next 5 years. More than that, you will be choosing the team to work with you for the next 15-20 years, and setting the direction for Singapore for the next 50 years."
Sep 11 (Friday) will be a public holiday and Sep 10 will be Cooling-off Day, the Elections Department said in a press release.
The Returning Officer for the General Election is Mr Ng Wai Choong, the Chief Executive of the Energy Market Authority.
Nomination papers can be collected from the Singapore Elections Department (ELD) on Prinsep Link. Soft copies of the nomination paper can be downloaded from the ELD website.
The ELD said the deposit per candidate is S$14,500, or 8 per cent of the total allowances payable to a Member of Parliament in the preceding calendar year and rounded to the nearest $500.
Nine schools have been listed as nomination centres.
The recently-issued report of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee carved up Singapore’s political landscape into a total of 89 seats in 29 constituencies - comprising 13 Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) and 16 Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs). This is up from the 87 seats in 27 constituencies in the previous Parliament.
The People’s Action Party (PAP), which is contesting all 89 seats, has in recent weeks been introducing its candidates and where they will be contesting – barring any last minute changes. This is a change from previous elections, when voters only found out who was contesting in their constituency on Nomination Day.
Explaining the change, PAP Organising Secretary Dr Ng Eng Hen, had said earlier: “We believe that this is better politics. It’s better to tell the residents up front who is standing in their constituency so they can examine on record, what candidates have done, can do and they can make intelligent choices after examining whoever the political parties who are standing, who can better serve them.”
It is widely expected that the Opposition, which currently comprises nine active parties, will contest all 89 seats – the first time that this has happened since 1963.
Earlier this month, the Opposition parties had two meetings among themselves to carve up the 29 constituencies to avoid multi-cornered fights. This, however, does not prevent independent candidates or even a team of independents from turning up on Nomination Day. If they were to successfully file their papers, there could still be multi-cornered contests.
Among the nine Opposition parties, the Workers’ Party (WP) is expected to field the largest slate – contesting 28 seats up from 23 seats at the last General Election in 2011. The WP won 6 seats at the 2011 GE and another seat at a by-election in 2013. The WP is only expected to reveal the full slate of its candidates closer to Nomination Day and where they are contesting on the day itself.
The other Opposition parties – based on their own claims – are expected to contest up to 11 seats each. The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), National Solidarity Party (NSP) and Reform Party (RP) say they will contest 11 seats each, while Singaporeans First (SingFirst) is expected to contest 10 seats, the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) 6 seats and the People’s Power Party (PPP) 4 seats.
The Singapore People’s Party (SPP) is expected to contest up to 8 seats, including Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, which they will field a joint team together with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) under the SPP banner.