How to conduct fair elections

January 6, 2005
Singapore Democrats

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Below are some existing commitments for democratic elections in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) participating states. Compare them to the ones in Singapore. http://www.osce.org/documents/odihr/2003/10/772_en.pdf

OSCE: When necessary, redrawing of election districts shall occur according to a predictable timetable and through a method prescribed by law and should reflect reliable census or voter registration figures. Redistricting should also be performed well in advance of elections, be based on transparent proposals, and allow for public information and participation.(emphasis added)

Singapore: The Election Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC), after substantial alterations of the boundaries, presented the redrawn electoral map on 21 November 1996. Less than a month later elections were called. Better yet, the new boundaries for the 2001 GE were announced 1 (yes, one) day before the announcement for the elections was made.

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OSCE: The administration of elections must be conducted autonomously, free from government or other interference, by officials or bodies operating transparently under the law.

Singapore: Elections are conducted by the Elections Department which is supervised by the Prime Ministers Office (PMO). Any more questions?

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OSCE: No additional qualification requirements, beyond those applicable to voters, may be imposed on candidates except, for certain offices, concerning age and duration of citizenship and/or residence.

Singapore: A candidate for the presidential elections must have been a Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker, Attorney-General, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Auditor-General, Accountant-General or Permanent Secretary, chairman or CEO of a statutory board, chairman or CEO of a company with a paid-up capital of at least $100 million. Or anyone who in the opinion of the Presidential Elections Committee is qualified to do the job of president.

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OSCE: States should provide an adequate opportunity, on an equitable and non-discriminatory basis, for election contestants to inform the public about their candidacies and political programmes, including through the state media.

Singapore: We should be so lucky if the media here would just report without distorting and covering up the oppositions messages, let alone providing an adequate opportunity, on an equitable and non-discriminatory basis…

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OSCE: States must ensure that equal access and fair treatment of election contestants is provided by all stateowned media outlets, including all electronic and print media. This obligation extends to news reports, editorial comment, and all other content.

PAP: Hahahahahahahahahaha!