Elections Must Happen Soon As Parliament Will Dissolve In Jan, 5 Years After Government Term Started

Amidst disagreeing voices regarding elections happening during the Covid-19 outbreak, the Singapore Government has their own reason for wanting to continue.

The Parliament is set to dissolve in Jan 2021, according to Trade & Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing in a Bloomberg report.

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With only a few months to go, the need to form a new government is more urgent than Singaporeans may be aware of.

Not much time to hold elections before Parliament dissolves

The Jan 2021 deadline is because that’s when the current government’s term ends, after the maximum 5-year period.

Despite fixing an April deadline for the General Elections (GE), we may not have as much time as we thought.

Once Parliament dissolves in Jan, candidates by right, should be up for nomination no later than 1 month afterwards.

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Following that, 9 days of campaigning and a Cooling-off Day will occur before the actual Polling Day.

If we adhere to this timeline, GE should thus happen much earlier than the April estimate.

Need for new mandate to tackle upcoming challenges

Procedures aside, Mr Chan added that the more pressing desire is to “have a strong mandate”, especially amidst the global health and economic crisis.

In establishing good leadership, Singapore can hopefully face upcoming challenges better.

Mr Chan described these difficulties rather grimly, saying that,

[T]he challenges that we are going to face in the coming years will indeed be the challenge of an entire generation.

Indeed, with spillover effects of the Covid-19 outbreak likely to persist, we need to start making a solid game plan early.

Don’t let Covid-19 affect voting decision

Since Parliament has already passed a Bill to allow certain adjustments for voting amidst Covid-19 measures, Singapore is somewhat ready for the GE.

As we report significant improvement since ‘Circuit Breaker’ started, Mr Chan also hopes that recent decisions won’t sway people’s votes.

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He expressed confidence in Singaporeans’ ability to look at the government’s long-term performance and not during this crisis alone.

When the GE does happen, he wishes for voters to go in with a positive perspective — by looking at how we overcome this crisis and “emerge stronger”, instead of harping on the issues at hand.

For now, a date for the GE remains unclear, but we’ll be keeping a closer lookout for sure.

Featured image adapted from Redwire.