The Elections Department (ELD) on Wednesday (24 June) released its updated guidelines on political campaigning and announced the dates of the political broadcasts. This follows the announcement the previous day that a general election will be held on 10 July.
On 23 June yesterday, the Writ of Election was issued which stated that the Nomination Day will be held on 30 June.
ELD had earlier stated in its preliminary campaigning guidelines that there will be no physical rallies in this coming GE, but more airtime will be given to political parties and candidates. Candidates can also opt to hold e-rally livestreams as the Government will provide the venues.
It released the details of the e-rally livestreams today, stating that the Government will provide up to 10 livestreaming venues each day for online rallies from 1 July to 8 July, at these timings – 7am to 10am, 12 noon to 3pm, and 7pm to 10pm.
According to ELD, candidates can apply for the timeslots that will cost S$107 each – from 8pm to 1pm on the previous day – except on 30 June when applications will only be accepted from 3pm to 6pm.
As for the Constituency Political Broadcasts, it will be aired on Mediacorp’s Channel 5 from 3 July to 7 July, from 7pm onwards.
ELD noted that candidates are allowed to speak to voters for three minutes in the pre-recorded broadcasts.
Candidates in a Single Member Constituency (SMC) will each have three minutes of airtime, a team contesting a four-member Group Representation Constituency (GRC) will have 12 minutes, while a group of candidates for a five-member GRC will have 15 minutes to speak.
It stated that political parties that field at least six candidates are entitled to party political broadcasts (PPBs) which are scheduled on 2 July and 9 July, from 7pm onwards. These will be broadcast across 19 TV and radio channels.
ELD asserted that PPBs would be one of the exceptions to the prohibition of campaign activities on Cooling-Off Day which falls on 9 July, adding that no supporters will be allowed in the Nomination Centres on Nomination Day.
Candidates must wear a face mask at all times
In addition, candidates must wear a face mask at all times. ELD stated that face masks should not be removed when taking photos or talking to others and they can only take it off when eating or drinking.
Candidates must also wear masks during the broadcast session, especially at places where it might be hard to maintain safe distancing. This is unless the candidate is in a setting where safe management practices are in place and one-metre safe distancing can be maintained.
“Misplacing or forgetting one’s mask is not a reasonable excuse for not wearing a mask in public. To avoid this, you are encouraged to carry spare face masks,” it said.
ELD added that this also applies during a house visit, adding that household visitors should not be more than five people.
Meanwhile, members of the public are advised to watch the political broadcasts from their homes and avoid gathering in public.
“Protecting the health and safety of members of the public – including political parties, candidates and voters – is of utmost importance.
“As part of social responsibility, political parties and candidates are also encouraged to take their temperature daily and stay home when unwell,” ELD stated.