Parliament to debate Bill on plans for possible election amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Elections Department (ELD) said that it must make contingency plans for precautionary measures to ensure a safe election, should the upcoming general election take place amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — A Bill on contingency plans to be put in place should a general election be held amid the COVID-19 outbreak will be debated in Parliament next Tuesday (7 April).

In response to media queries, the Elections Department (ELD) said on Friday that, in view of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, it must make contingency plans for precautionary measures to ensure a safe election, should the upcoming general election take place amid the pandemic.

“The Parliamentary Elections (COVID-19 Special Arrangements) Bill contains the necessary legislative provisions to allow ELD to implement temporary arrangements to ensure the safety of voters, candidates and election officials during Parliamentary elections held on or before 14 April 2021,” said ELD.

“The health and safety of voters, candidates and election officials is paramount to us,” it added.

In recent weeks, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has given strong hints that a general election will be held shortly. The ruling People’s Action Party’s term ends on 15 January 2021, after which an election must be held by 14 April 2021.

As of Wednesday, Singapore has confirmed 1,000 cases of COVID-19 infection, with 245 patients fully recovered and discharged. On Friday morning, a fifth patient - an 86-year-old female Singaporean - died of the disease.

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