SINGAPORE: There will be two televised forums instead of one for the September Presidential Election, and candidates will be allocated time for televised campaign broadcasts on more channels.
This was announced by the Elections Department (ELD) on Tuesday (Aug 29). In February, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing had said that the Government was studying options to encourage the use of platforms and channels that reach out to voters on a national level, including allowing candidates more television airtime.
“This is in line with the Government’s and the Constitutional Commission’s position not to encourage rallies, which by their nature and format, may be divisive and not congruent with the unifying role of the Elected Presidency,” Mr Chan had said.
The two 90-minute forums will be broadcast on free-to-air TV channels: One will be organised and live-streamed by SPH on the third day after Nomination Day, Sep 16, while the other will be organised and broadcast live by Mediacorp on Sep 19.
Each candidate will also be allocated two blocks of 10 minutes’ airtime, free of charge, to make statements in the four official languages across 17 TV and radio channels – up from 13 in the last Presidential Election.
Mediacorp, the broadcaster for the TV channels, will televise the first of these “Presidential Candidate Broadcasts” the day after Nomination Day on Sep 13, and the second on the eve of Cooling-off Day on Sep 22.
For this election, there will be no designated rally sites. Candidates who wish to hold rallies will need to secure rally sites on their own and apply to the police for a permit, which will be assessed based on public order considerations, said the ELD in issuing guidelines for the election.
Applications for police permits can only be submitted after the close of nomination proceedings and must be submitted two days before the intended rally date.
The Presidential Elections…