photo : reuters
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Tuesday (Jun 23) he has called General Election 2020 to "clear the decks" for a fresh mandate for the Government. In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Lee said he has advised President Halimah Yacob to dissolve Parliament and issue the Writ of Election. An election 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, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister's Office said Madam Halimah has dissolved Parliament, and that Nomination Day will be on Jun 30. Polling Day will be on Jul 10, a Friday, the Elections Department said, adding that Polling Day in any General Election is a public holiday. Before deciding to proceed with the election, PM Lee said he had to be certain of two things – that voters can vote safely, and political parties can campaign effectively.
"On voters safety the election department will be implementing additional precautions on polling day. We’ve setting up more polling stations then the previous election to reduce crowding. There’ll be safe distancing major practice at the polling stations. Voters will be allocated specific time slot to vote and seniors will be given priority to vote before others. On effective campaigning the election department has also make an arrangement and issues guide lines. Candidates can still go house to house campaigning in person provided the observed the safe distancing precautions. Unfortunately physical election rallies will not be possible but we will make up with more opportunities for candidates to speak directly to voters on television and off course online for example via live streaming" Prim Minister said.
During the election period, the Government will continue to govern, said Mr Lee, adding that the Cabinet remains in charge even after Parliament is dissolved and the public service will continue to function, as in every General Election. The ministerial task force leading Singapore’s response to COVID-19 will also continue its work, and businesses, workers and families will receive help and support.
"During the election period, the Government will continue to govern. The Cabinet remain in charge even after Parliament is dissolved, and the public service will continue to function normally. This is saw in every general election but I particularly emphasize this now because of the vital importance of ongoing operations against covid-19, sustaining the economy and protecting jobs. Therefore over the next view weeks you can expect the ministerial task force still to lead our response to covid-19" He explain.
PM Lee added that this General Election will be like no other that Singaporeans have experienced – not only because of the special arrangements to deal with COVID-19 but the gravity of the situation and the issues at stake. The government that will be elect will have critical decisions to make. These decisions will impact the lives and livelihoods, and shape Singapore for many years to come, far beyond the five-year term of the next government//NK