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GE2020 campaign guidelines: Candidates’ masks must remain on while taking photos, speaking to public

SINGAPORE — While on the campaign trail, candidates must wear a face mask at all times, and should not take it off just to take photos or talk to someone.

The Elections Department of Singapore issued new guidelines on Wednesday (June 24), as political parties and candidates prepare to go to the polls on July 10.

The Elections Department of Singapore issued new guidelines on Wednesday (June 24), as political parties and candidates prepare to go to the polls on July 10.

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  • The Elections Department has issued updated rules for GE2020
  • Candidates cannot take off their masks just to take photos or talk
  • More details about political broadcasts will be issued on Thursday

 

SINGAPORE — While on the campaign trail, candidates must wear a face mask at all times, and should not take it off just to take photos or talk to someone.

This was among the updated guidelines issued by the Elections Department of Singapore (ELD) on Wednesday (June 24), as political parties and candidates prepare to go to the polls on July 10.

The ELD also reminded candidates to adhere to safe distancing measures as they go about campaigning for the General Election (GE) during the Covid-19 pandemic.

While most rules have remained largely unchanged from GE2015, some have been amended and new ones introduced to comply with Covid-19 safety measures.

Here is a look at some of the campaigning guidelines released by the ELD:

POLITICAL BROADCASTS

Party Political Broadcasts

  • Two sessions of party political broadcasts (PPBs) will be aired on July 2 and 9 across 19 television and radio channels this year, compared with 13 television and radio channels during the 2015 elections.

  • Both PPBs are scheduled to take place from 7pm onwards.

  • The PPBs are only for political parties that field at least six candidates under a recognised party symbol.

  • The recordings for both broadcasts will be made a day before they go on air respectively. 

  • The ELD clarified that PPBs are among the exceptions to the prohibition of campaign activities on the cooling-off day.

  • Members of eligible parties will be informed of their allocated time on Nomination Day (June 30). 

Constituency Political Broadcasts

  • All parties contesting in the GE will be eligible for the constituency political broadcasts (CPB).

  • These will be aired on Channel 5 between July 3 and 7, and are scheduled to take place from 7pm onwards.

  • Candidates contesting in a Single Member Constituency (SMC) may speak for three minutes each.

  • Meanwhile, candidates contesting in Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) may speak for a total of 12 minutes (four-member GRCs) or 15 minutes (five-member GRCs). 

  • Recordings for CPBs will take place from July 2 onwards.

Further details of the broadcasts will be announced by the Infocomm Media Development Authority on Thursday.

Live-streaming

Besides the national broadcasts, candidates may carry out their campaigning online, such as by holding live-streaming sessions through their social media platforms.

The Government will also provide physical venues equipped with internet connectivity that candidates can apply for and use for live-streaming at specific time slots throughout the day between July 1 and 8.

These venues will be provided at a rate of S$107, and should be used only for live-streaming sessions, and not for other recordings.

WEARING OF FACE MASKS

  • The ELD said that candidates must wear a face mask at all times, even while they are talking to others or taking photographs.

  • This applies even when the candidate is being recorded speaking on video while they are in a public place where it might be hard to maintain a safe distance or comply with other safe distancing measures. 

  • An exception can be made for the purposes of recording if the candidate is in a setting where safe management measures are in place and safe distancing of at least one metre can be adhered to. In such instances, they may remove their mask for a “few minutes”. 

  • Candidates can also remove their masks if they are eating or drinking, though they should minimise talking to “reduce the risk of droplet spread”. Their mask must be worn immediately after they are done.

INTERACTIONS WITH THE PUBLIC

  • Candidates must ensure that they conduct their walkabouts in groups no larger than five and keep a distance of at least a metre between each of these groups. 

  • This safe distancing must be maintained when they interact with members of the public as well. 

  • Exchanges between candidates and the public should be kept short. 

  • The ELD also advises candidates and the public to avoid physical contact, such as handshakes, fist bumps or high-fives, when greeting each other.

  • The distribution of items for election advertising during the campaign period will be permitted, as long as it complies with the law and it does not result in physical contact or crowding.

  • If a crowd forms around the candidate and his or her party, they should remind the public about complying with safe distancing measures. If this is not possible, the ELD says that the party should “disengage and leave the area”.

DOOR-TO-DOOR CAMPAIGNING

  • While visiting different households is allowed, the ELD advises candidates to keep their interactions transient.

  • If candidates are invited into a resident’s home, only five visitors are allowed in at any one time.

NOMINATION CENTRES

Nine schools will be used as nomination centres for the different electoral divisions

Entry into these centres will start from 10am on June 30, and proceedings will begin at 11am. Candidates will have until noon to file their nomination papers.

However, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the ELD said that supporters will not be allowed to gather at the centres.

Instead, supporters may follow the proceedings either on television or online.

The nomination centres are:

Bendemeer Primary School 

  • Jalan Besar GRC

  • Radin Mas SMC

  • Tanjong Pagar GRC

  • Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC

Chongfu School

  • Kebun Baru SMC

  • Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC

  • Nee Soon GRC

  • Sembawang GRC

Deyi Secondary School

  • Aljunied GRC

  • Ang Mo Kio GRC

  • Marymount SMC

  • Yio Chu Kang SMC

Jurong Pioneer Junior College

  • Chua Chu Kang GRC

  • Hong Kah North SMC

  • Pioneer SMC

Kong Hwa School

  • MacPherson SMC

  • Marine Parade GRC

  • Mountbatten SMC

  • Potong Pasir SMC

Methodist Girls’ School

  • Bukit Panjang SMC

  • Holland-Bukit Timah GRC

Nan Hua High School

  • Bukit Batok SMC

  • Jurong GRC

  • West Coast GRC

  • Yuhua SMC

Poi Ching School

  • Hougang SMC

  • Tampines GRC

St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School

  • East Coast GRC

  • Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC

  • Punggol West SMC

  • Sengkang GRC

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