SINGAPORE: Candidates participating in the Punggol East by—election will file their nomination papers at North Vista Secondary School, the by—election’s nomination centre, on Wednesday from 11am to 12pm.
With this, Singapore would go through its second by—election just eight months after the last was held in the single member constituency (SMC) of Hougang. The Hougang by—election took place in May 2012.
Punggol East SMC fell vacant after former Speaker of Parliament and MP for the ward Michael Palmer resigned on 12 December 2012 due to an extramarital affair.
Under parliamentary election procedures, one hour is set aside for the filing of nomination papers and another half hour for any objections to be raised.
The Returning Officer, Mr Yam Ah Mee, is expected to declare the results of the nomination process by 1pm Wednesday.
The ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) would be fielding 40—year—old Dr Koh Poh Koon, a surgeon, as its candidate.
The Workers’ Party, on the other hand, has announced that 34—year—old Lee Li Lian would be fielded again. Ms Lee, a trainer at a financial institution, contested the ward in the 2011 General Election.
Two other opposition candidates have also stated their interest to contest the ward.
They are secretary—general of the Reform Party Kenneth Jeyaretnam and secretary—general of the Singapore Democratic Alliance Desmond Lim. Mr Lim also took part in the 2011 polls in Punggol East.
The Singapore Democratic Party however has decided to withdraw from the contest, just a day before Nomination Day, despite expressing interest to participate in the by—election early on.
Separately, the Elections Department announced on Tuesday that it has issued 14 Political Donation Certificates, one of the documents which have to be submitted when filing the Nomination Papers.
Each candidate would also have to pay an election deposit of S$14,500.
Nine days of campaigning have been set aside with Friday, 25 January, designated as Cooling Off Day.
Candidates have indicated that they would be raising several issues concerning the needs of the Punggol East ward during their campaign period.
There are some 32,000 voters in Punggol East SMC and Polling Day has been set for 26 January, a Saturday.
PAP won the ward in the 2011 General Election, garnering nearly 54 per cent of the votes cast.
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