SINGPORE: Friday is Cooling—off Day for the Punggol East by—election, which has seen nine days of vigorous campaigning by the four candidates contending in the polls.
The Elections Department has reminded political parties and candidates that Friday has been set aside for voters to reflect rationally on various issues raised during the campaigning before they go to the polls on Saturday.
The four candidates Channel NewsAsia spoke to said they intend to spend time with their family, friends, and supporters after a gruelling election campaign that took form in walkabouts, morning visits to train stations to catch office—goers, as well as public and online rallies.
Campaigning is not allowed on Cooling—off Day. Election advertising cannot be published or displayed on Cooling—off Day as well.
Exceptions include reports in newspapers as well as on radio and television which relate to election matters.
Also allowed are approved posters and banners lawfully displayed before the start of Cooling—off Day. Other election advertising, such as internet election advertising lawfully displayed or published before the start of Cooling—off Day, is also allowed. Candidates can also continue to wear a replica of the symbol allotted to them.
Candidates and supporters have been advised to refrain from attending public events on Cooling—off Day and Polling Day. However they can attend religious ceremonies or worship services, or functions in the course of work or employment, but must be mindful of the rule prohibiting campaigning and election advertising.
On Saturday, some 31,600 voters from Punggol East SMC will go to the polls to elect their Parliamentary representative.
The by—election is being contested by four political parties — Dr Koh Poh Koon from the People’s Action Party, Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam from the Reform Party, Mr Desmond Lim Bak Chuan from the Singapore Democratic Alliance and Ms Lee Li Lian from the Workers’ Party.
This is Singapore’s second by—election in eight months after the May 2012 Hougang by—election.
The Cooling—off Day provision in the Parliamentary Elections Act is now in force for the fourth time, after the 2011 General and Presidential Elections and the 2012 Hougang by—election.
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