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ELD announces stricter regulations for online election advertising ahead of General Election

Singapore’s Elections Department announced updates to the country’s electoral processes, including the regulation of online election advertising. The Returning Officer is now empowered to direct individuals and social media firms to remove online election advertising that violates election rules.



SINGAPORE: The Elections Department (ELD) on Friday (31 May) announced updates to Singapore’s electoral processes, with a focus on regulating online election advertising to “bolster transparency and accountability, thereby supporting informed voting.

In a bid to prevent the spread of misinformation and uphold electoral integrity, the ELD has empowered the Returning Officer to direct individuals and social media firms to remove online election advertising that violates election rules.

This directive could extend to disabling access to such advertisements for users in Singapore and halting further transmission of the materials.

Under the revised regulations, election advertising, both online and offline, will now be required to disclose the full names of all individuals involved in its publication or display.

This includes those who authorised the advertisement, approved its content, directed its publication, and, for printed ads, the printer as well.

Paid advertisements must also prominently feature the full names of those who funded them, along with indicators of sponsorship. These measures aim to enhance transparency and accountability in political communication.

Amplification of online election advertising, such as boosting or sharing, will now be subject to the same stringent requirements as publishing new content.

“Amplification of existing OEA increases the reach of the content to more users and has the same effect as publishing fresh content, ” ELD justified.

For non-online election advertising, particularly those bearing political party symbols, political parties are required to declare the details of all such materials to the Returning Officer within 12 hours of the issuance of the Writ of Elections.

Additionally, during the campaign period, only authorised individuals, including candidates and election agents, are permitted to publicly display these advertisements in specific designated areas outlined by the ELD.

In 2023, amendments to the Parliamentary Elections Act 1954 (PEA) were made to modernize and improve electoral procedures. These changes will be implemented through revised Subsidiary Legislation (SL) under the PEA, effective 14 June.

ELD noted that he SL aligns with standards set during the 2023 Presidential Election (PE2023), focusing on transparency and accountability in election advertising.

Candidates required to declare non-involvement of foreign entities post-election

In anticipation of the upcoming general election, adjustments have been made to overseas voting procedures.

Notably, ballot papers cast at overseas polling stations and postal votes will now be sorted by electoral division, reflecting the difference in electoral dynamics between a general election and a presidential election.

Similarly, the maximum number of counting agents allowed per political party or independent candidate has been increased to five, considering the larger number of candidates in a general election.

Other measures announced by ELD including candidates will now be required to submit a new form after the election. This form includes declarations affirming that no foreign entity has been authorised to conduct any election-related activities on behalf of the candidates or their election agents.

Furthermore, candidates must declare that their election activities were not influenced or authorised by any foreign principal.

Responding to feedback received during the previous Presidential Election in 2023, the ELD has enlarged the demarcated area on the ballot paper for voters to mark their choice.

This adjustment specifically addresses concerns raised by voters who were unsure whether they had correctly positioned their X-stamp within the designated area.

The next Singapore General Election is to be held by November 2025, but it is widely speculated that the date will be much earlier, possibly around September of this year.

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That’s correct!
Stricter rules for oppos,
NO rules for the rest.
Welcome to People’s Democratic Republic of Singapore!

Having been “in office” for nearly seven decades, with a blank cheque budget of billions for every GE, with all rules and regulations enacted to hamper and hold back every opposition party, and, … still, they wanna add more to the oredi shit load of GE conditions, that they “seem” to be “exempt” from, or rather, “seem” to be able to get away with !!! This regime are obviously ensuring that whatever GE advantages they’ve created for themselves, … are either enhanced or improved further upon, whilst at the same time, straight~jacketing all of the opposition !!! A malicious, devious… Read more »

As expected…tightening the screws tighter and tighter…never fails , each time elections draw near, a whole slew of tweaks and new rules pop up….like no confidence to stand alone.