GE2020: Elections Department tells parties to stop shouting slogans as it raises COVID-19 risk

SINGAPORE - JULY 05:  Secretary-General of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), Dr Tan Cheng Bock (R) reacts as Lee Hsien Yang (seated) looks on during a door stop interview during the PSP campaign walkabout ahead of the general election on July 5, 2020 in Singapore. Singapore will go to the polls on July 10 as the ruling party, PeopleÕs Action Party seeks a fresh mandate amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As of July 5, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country stands at 44,800.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Progress Singapore Party members during a campaign walkabout on 5 July, 2020, for the 2020 General Election. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Stop engaging in shouting or chanting party slogans during campaigning, as these actions increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission, said the Elections Department (ELD).

In a media statement on Monday (6 July), the ELD told political parties and candidates not to engage in such acts, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

It said it has been alerted to several such incidents across the parties recently, and observed that crowds have gathered without safe distancing of at least one metre during these incidents.

It added that shouting and chanting will generate more droplets, thus significantly increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, especially when done in a large group.

“Protecting the health and safety of members of the public – including candidates, supporters and voters – is of utmost importance,” it said in the statement. “(Parties and candidates) should exercise positive leadership and set a good example for the public.”

The ELD said that candidates and parties are expected to remind any crowd to comply with safe management measures. Should they not comply, the candidates and parties should disengage and leave the area.

It added that campaigning should be done in a lawful and orderly manner, and parties should avoid confrontations with other parties that may easily escalate into disorder.

These include shouting and chanting of party slogans, especially when done in the presence of opposing parties and their supporters in a confined area.

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