PM Lee convenes Electoral Boundaries Review Committee

Elections Department Singapore (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)
Elections Department Singapore (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has convened the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC), the Elections Department Singapore (ELD) said in a statement on Wednesday (4 September).

The EBRC has been directed to review the boundaries of the current electoral divisions and to recommend the number and boundaries of Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and Single Member Constituencies (SMCs). This will take into consideration significant changes in the number of electors in the current electoral divisions as a result of population shifts and housing developments.

It will also look into further reducing the average size of the GRCs and to increase the number of SMCs from the current 13. Out of the 16 GRCs, two have six MPs, eight have five MPs and six have four MPs.

Chaired by the principal private secretary to the prime minister, the EBRC is now in the midst of its deliberations and will make its recommendations to PM Lee when it has completed its review.

The committee was convened in August, said the ELD.

No fixed timeline for report

There is no fixed timeframe for the EBRC report to be submitted, with past reports having taken between two and seven months.

Once the EBRC report is released, Parliament will be dissolved by the President upon the advice of the PM. She will then direct the Returning Officer to issue a Writ of Election.

The shortest period between the report’s release and the dissolution of Parliament has been one day, which occured ahead of the 2001 General Election. Meanwhile, the usual timeframe between the dissolution of Parliament and Nomination Day - which marks the start of the campaign period – is about one week.

Under Singapore law, the minimum number of days for electoral campaigning is nine, after which the country goes to the polls.

For the last general election, the EBRC’s report was submitted to the prime minister on 21 July 2015. Parliament was then dissolved on 25 August that year, with the election held on 11 September.

In 2011, the EBRC report was handed in on 21 February after which Parliament was dissolved on 19 April and the election held on 7 May.

The next general election must be held by 15 April 2021.

More Singapore stories:

Chiam See Tong to step down as Singapore People's Party secretary-general next month: reports

Tan Cheng Bock rebuts DPM Heng, cries as he speaks of political conviction

Presidential Election, Oxley Road saga are key issues that show 'drastic change' in the PAP: Tan Cheng Bock