SINGAPORE: The Election Department under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of Singapore has unveiled the official campaigning guidelines for the upcoming Presidential Election, set to take place on 1 September 2023.
The guidelines stress that the Presidential Election should fundamentally differ from General Elections, given the unique roles the President performs. The President is described as an individual above political biases, representing and promoting Singapore’s interests abroad while ensuring the safeguarding of Singapore’s reserves and the appointment of people with integrity to key public sector roles.
Key takeaways from the guidelines include:
Television as the Main Medium: Television has been highlighted as a primary campaigning platform. Candidates are allocated two 10-minute segments across 19 Mediacorp TV channels, with the first Presidential Candidate Broadcast scheduled for 24 August and the second on 30 August.
Online Campaigning: The use of online platforms for campaigning is permitted, allowing candidates to reach a broader audience. However, they are to adhere strictly to the rules for Online Election Advertising as stipulated.
Rally Restrictions: The guidelines suggest that rallies might not align with the unifying role of the Presidency. Hence, there won’t be designated rally sites for the elections. Any candidate still wishing to hold an election meeting must obtain necessary permissions.
Public Displays & Advertising: The display of election advertising, such as banners, flags, and posters, is permissible under certain conditions. Candidates need to ensure they comply with regulations regarding their quantity, size, location, and duration.
Political Parties & Civic Organisations: The President’s position being non-partisan, political parties are advised not to campaign using their party names and symbols in support of a candidate.
Cooling-off Period: A quiet period where all campaigning will cease has been designated, beginning on the eve of Polling Day and ending when polls close.
Foreign Interference: Candidates are urged to be vigilant against potential foreign interference in the election and are advised to fact-check all information before sharing.
Election Financing: The spending limit for the election has been set at S$812,822.10, based on the number of electors as of 11 August 2023.
Candidates are reminded to conduct their campaigns responsibly, maintaining the dignity of the process and avoiding negative or hate-driven campaigns. They are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the relevant acts and regulations to ensure their campaigns are compliant.
For more detailed information on the guidelines, individuals and candidates can refer to the Election Department’s official website.