PE 2017: ELD issues guidelines for candidates ranging from financing to cybersecurity

Singapore’s Istana, the official residence and office of the nation’s president. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

The Elections Department (ELD) issued an advisory to candidates for the Presidential Election 2017 (PE 2017) on Monday (28 August), with guidelines ranging from election financing, protection of personal data to cybersecurity.

The advisory comes after the Prime Minister’s Office announced earlier Monday that Polling Day is set for 23 September, if more than one candidate is eligible to stand in PE 2017. Nomination Day for PE 2017 is on 13 September.

Under election financing guidelines, the advisory states that the election expense limit for PE 2017 is set at $754,982.40. Campaign expenses are capped at 30 cents per registered voter or $600,000, whichever is greater, in accordance with the Presidential Elections Act.

To comply with the Political Donations Act, candidates have to keep proper records of political donations received and verify the source of their donations.

Candidates can buy a copy of registers of electors and use the information in it without obtaining consent under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). They are required, however, to comply with data protection provisions of the PDPA when they use or disclose the personal data of individuals.

Some of the guidelines refer to changes in campaigning rules for presidential elections that were announced in Parliament in February this year. For instance, while there will be no designated rally sites for presidential elections, candidates can hold election meetings at sites such as sports stadiums and indoor venues. Election meeting permits will not be issued for sites such as open fields.

Candidates have also been advised to be mindful of potential cyber threats. There have been attempts to interfere with foreign countries’ electoral processes and candidates must safeguard their IT systems against such threats, according to the advisory.

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