By now you would have heard of the Singapore Police Force’s advise on keeping getais (concert performances for the Chinese Seventh Month) separate from political rallies. But what goes together with the police statement is a little change in the balloting system for election rallies by the various political parties.
As you have seen from the headlines on CNA and TOC, the police has warned Seventh Month event organisers to ensure that no speeches intended to canvass support for election candidates or political parties are delivered during their events.
Additionally, there can be no getai performances and other forms of stage performances and entertainment allowed before, during or after election rallies.
This, they say on Friday (Aug 14), would be in line with the Public Order (Election Meetings) Regulations 2009.
While it said that “the ballot method used to allocate rally sites in the 2012 and 2013 by-elections will also be used for the upcoming General Election to allocate rally sites,” and that the police will make available sufficient rally sites to contesting parties or independent candidates for this purpose, it added a new point.
“To ensure contesting parties and independent candidates have more opportunities to use their preferred rally sites on their preferred dates, a ‘give-way’ rule will be implemented. Parties that have been allocated a site will have to ‘give way’ to other applicants that apply for the same site at the same timeslot on the following day,” it said.
They said, to ensure every GE contestant can hold at least one outdoor rally within the last two to three nights of campaigning, a “block ballot” method will be implemented in constituencies where the number of contesting parties and/or independent candidates is more than the number of rally sites.
Under the block ballot method, the last two to three nights for rally sites will be grouped together for application as a block. Contesting parties and independent candidates can only apply for one site on one night within the block, it explained, while saying details on the application and allocation process for rally sites and assembly centre sites will be released after the Writ of Election is issued.