Electoral Boundaries Review Committee not appointed yet: Chan Chun Sing
SINGAPORE — The committee that makes recommendations on electoral boundaries — otherwise known as the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) — has not been set up yet, a sign that the next General Election (GE) is not imminent.
SINGAPORE — The committee that makes recommendations on electoral boundaries, otherwise known as the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC), has not been set up yet, a sign that the next General Election (GE) is not imminent.
Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister-in-charge of Public Service, said this on Monday (July 8) in a written reply to a parliamentary question raised by Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh, who asked whether the committee has been formed and, if not, when it will be set up.
Mr Singh had asked the same question during the Committee of Supply debate in Parliament this February.
While some analysts have previously told TODAY that the GE would likely be held next year, there has been talk that it could be held as early as September this year.
The next GE must be held by early April 2021.
The forming of the EBRC, which is in charge of redrawing electoral boundaries in the city-state, typically happens a few months before the GE is held.
The committee is appointed by the prime minister who sets its guidelines or terms of reference.
In 2010, then-Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng said that the EBRC generally takes two to four months to complete its review.
It will then make its recommendations to the prime minister in a report.
The list of electoral divisions is declared usually one or two months before the election.
For the last GE, which was held in September 2015, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had told Parliament in July that year — in response to questions filed — that the EBRC had been formed two months earlier. The electoral boundaries were announced soon after in the same month.
The GE before that was held in May 2011, seven months after the EBRC was formed in October 2010. The committee had released its report in February 2011.
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In 2016, Mr Lee said in Parliament that the next GE will see smaller Group Representation Constituencies on average and more single-member wards.
When Mr Singh asked about the EBRC’s formation in February this year, he had expressed his hope that the committee's next report would be in “greater detail” and that the Government would make it a “matter of practice” to announce when the committee is formed.
Mr Chan replied then that the EBRC independently decides how the constituencies are delineated, the size and configuration of the constituencies, as well as the total number of Members of Parliament to be returned.
In reviewing the electoral boundaries, the committee takes into account technical factors such as population growth and shifts, and other relevant parameters, Mr Chan added.
He also said then that “as with past elections, there will be sufficient time, from when the committee's review report is made public to the time of the election, for candidates and political parties to make their preparations”.