Parliamentary Elections Act
(Original Enactment: Ordinance 26 of 1954)
REVISED EDITION 2011
(15th April 2011)
An Act to make provision for Parliamentary elections.
[12th November 1954]
1. This Act may be cited as the Parliamentary Elections Act.
—(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“ballot box” includes a ballot container;
“ballot display” means an electronic video display, image or representation of a ballot paper on a screen;
“candidate” means a person who is nominated as a candidate for election to any seat in Parliament;
“Commissioner of National Registration” means the Commissioner of National Registration appointed under the National Registration Act (Cap. 201);
“contact address”, in relation to any person, means the person’s contact address under section 8(2) of the National Registration Act;
“direct recording electronic voting machine” or “DRE voting machine” means any mechanical, electronic or electro-optical machine that can —
be activated by a voter to mark or record his vote for any candidate or group of candidates on a ballot display on the machine;
process the vote by means of a computer program;
instantaneously record and store that vote in a memory device within the machine; and
sort and count votes marked or recorded on all ballot displays on that machine,
and includes any computer program that is used in the operation of the machine;
“direct recording electronic voting system” or “DRE voting system” means any voting system using DRE voting machines;
“election” means an election for the purpose of electing a Member of Parliament;
“election advertising” means any poster, banner, notice, circular, handbill, illustration, article, advertisement or other material that can reasonably be regarded as intended —
to promote or procure the electoral success at any election for one or more identifiable political parties, candidates or groups of candidates; or
to otherwise enhance the standing of any such political parties, candidates or groups of candidates with the electorate in connection with any election,
and such material shall be election advertising even though it can reasonably be regarded as intended to achieve any other purpose as well and even though it does not expressly mention the name of any political party or candidate, but excludes any button, badge, pen, pencil, balloon and any other thing prescribed by the Minister by notification in the Gazette;
“elector” means a person whose name is entered in a register as an elector to vote at an election;
“electoral division” means an electoral division specified in the notification for the time being in force under section 8;
“general election” means a general election of Members after a dissolution of Parliament;
“group” means a group of not less than 3 but not more than 6 candidates nominated for any election in any group representation constituency in accordance with section 27B;
“group representation constituency” means any electoral division declared to be a group representation constituency under section 8A(1)(a);
“Member” means a Member of Parliament;
“overseas elector” means an elector who is registered under section 13 or 13A in any register of electors as an overseas elector;
“overseas polling station” means such of the following premises situated outside Singapore as the Returning Officer may approve under section 36A(2) to be an overseas polling station:
an embassy, a High Commission, diplomatic mission, permanent mission or consulate of Singapore (or any part thereof) in a country or territory outside Singapore;
the official residence (or any part thereof) of any person who is appointed to hold or act in any of the following offices in a country or territory outside Singapore:
an ambassador, a High Commissioner, Consulate-General or head of a diplomatic mission or consulate;
the Permanent Representative; or
such other senior diplomatic or consular office as the Minister may, from time to time, prescribe;
“overseas registration centre” means an overseas registration centre established under section 10(4);
“Parliament” means the Parliament of Singapore established by the Constitution;
“political party” means a political party which is registered under the Societies Act (Cap. 311);
“polling district” means a part of an electoral division subdivided under section 9;
“polling station” means any polling station established by or under the authority of the Returning Officer under section 36A for voters to cast their votes at an election, and includes any overseas polling station;
“presidential election” means an election under the Presidential Elections Act (Cap. 240A);
“principal election agent” means an election agent of a candidate in a group who has been appointed under section 62(5) as the principal election agent for that group;
“public authority” means any body corporate, board or authority established by or under any written law for the performance of any public function, but excludes any Town Council constituted under the Town Councils Act (Cap. 329A);
“publish” means make available to the general public, or any section thereof, in whatever form and by whatever means, including broadcasting (by wireless telegraphy or otherwise) and transmitting on what is commonly known as the Internet;
“register” or “register of electors” means the register of electors for any particular electoral division comprising sections, each of which shall relate to a polling district of that electoral division;
“Registration Officer” and “Assistant Registration Officer” mean respectively the Registration Officer and an Assistant Registration Officer appointed under section 3;
“Returning Officer” means the Returning Officer appointed under section 3;
“Revising Officer” means a Revising Officer appointed under section 12;
“voter” means a person who, whether his name does or does not appear in a register of electors, applies to vote or votes at an election.
[10/88; 9/91; 42/96; 18/99; 19/2001; 31/2001; 14/2008]
(2) For the purposes of this Act —
the reference to electoral success at any election shall be a reference —
in relation to any political party, to the return at any such election of candidates or groups of candidates standing in the name of the party; and
in relation to candidates or groups of candidates, to their return at any such election;
the reference to the doing of anything mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) of the definition of “election advertising” shall include doing so by prejudicing the electoral prospects at the election of other political parties, candidates or groups of candidates or (as the case may be) by prejudicing the standing with the electorate of other political parties, candidates or groups of candidates; and
the reference to candidates or groups of candidates shall include a reference to any person or group of persons (whether or not a member of any political party) who, on or after the date of the issue of a writ for the election is declared, by himself or others, as seeking nomination as a candidate at that election.
[31/2001; 18/2005; 2/2007]
—(1) The Minister may appoint a Registration Officer and a Returning Officer and such Assistant Registration Officers as he may from time to time think fit.
(2) An Assistant Registration Officer shall have all the powers and may perform all the duties of the Registration Officer.
(3) Any reference in this Act to the Registration Officer shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be deemed to include a reference to an Assistant Registration Officer.
(4) An appointment made by the Minister under this section may be revoked by him at any time.
—(1) The Registration Officer and the Returning Officer may, from time to time, appoint such numbers of clerks and interpreters as may be necessary for the purposes of this Act.
(2) The appointments made under subsection (1) may be revoked at any time.
—(1) Subject to sections 6 and 7, any person who on the prescribed date in any year —
is a citizen of Singapore;
is ordinarily resident in Singapore; and
is not less than 21 years of age,
shall be entitled to have his name entered or retained in a register of electors in that year.
(1A) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b), a person shall be deemed to be ordinarily resident in Singapore on the prescribed date in a year if the person has resided in Singapore for an aggregate of 30 days during the period of 3 years immediately preceding the prescribed date, even though the person is not resident in Singapore on that date.
(2) For the purposes of the preparation or revision of any register of electors a person who is a citizen of Singapore and to whom an identity card has been issued or deemed to have been issued on or before the prescribed date in any year under the provisions of the National Registration Act (Cap. 201) and has not been withdrawn shall, until the contrary be shown, be presumed —
to be ordinarily resident in Singapore on the prescribed date in that year;
to be not less than 21 years of age on the prescribed date in that year, if from the particulars recorded in the register maintained by the Commissioner of National Registration he appears to be not less than that age on that date; and
to reside in the electoral division and polling district of the electoral division in which is situated the latest address shown on the prescribed date in the register maintained by the Commissioner of National Registration.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), the Registration Officer may, in preparing or revising any register of electors, omit therefrom the name of any person where he has reason to believe that the latest address of the person shown on the prescribed date in the register maintained by the Commissioner of National Registration has ceased to exist or to be used as a place of residence or is an address situated outside Singapore.
(4) For the purposes of subsections (1), (1A) and (2), the prescribed date shall be 1st July or such other date as the Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, specify1.
1 Parliamentary Elections (Prescribed Date) Order 2011 (S 3/2011) which specified 1st January in any year to be the prescribed date w.e.f. 3rd January 2011.
(5) No order shall be made under subsection (4) between the date of commencement of any preparation or revision of any register of electors for any year and the date of certification of that register under this Act (both dates inclusive).
(6) For the purposes of this section, the contact address of the holder of an identity card shall be regarded as his latest address in the register maintained by the Commissioner of National Registration.
—(1) No person shall be entitled to have his name entered or retained in any register of electors if he —
has done any of the following:
acquired or applied to acquire by registration, naturalisation or other voluntary and formal act (other than marriage) the citizenship of any country outside Singapore;
voluntarily claimed and exercised any rights (other than any rights in connection with the use of a passport) available to him under the law of any country outside Singapore being rights accorded exclusively to the citizens or nationals of that country;
taken any oath or made any declaration or acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to any foreign power or state; or
applied to the authorities of a place outside Singapore for the issue or renewal of a passport or used a passport issued by such authorities as a travel document;
is serving a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name called) imposed by any court in or outside Singapore for an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding 12 months, or is under sentence of death imposed by any such court or is serving a sentence of imprisonment awarded in lieu of execution of any such sentence;
is under any written law found or declared to be of unsound mind;
is incapable of being registered by reason of his conviction of a corrupt or illegal practice under this Act or the Presidential Elections Act (Cap. 240A) or by reason of the report of an Election Judge in accordance with the provisions of this Act or the Presidential Elections Act or by reason of his conviction under section 55 of this Act or section 37 of the Presidential Elections Act;
is a serving member on full pay of any naval, military or air force not maintained out of moneys provided by Parliament unless he possesses a domicile in Singapore;
[Deleted by Act 14 of 2008]
(1A) Without prejudice to subsection (1), no person who is deemed to be ordinarily resident in Singapore under section 5(1A) shall be entitled to have his name entered or retained in any register of electors if he is —
serving a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name called) in any prison, jail or other place of detention outside Singapore;
accused of an offence against any written law punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding 12 months and a warrant of arrest by a court in Singapore authorising his apprehension in relation to that offence remains in force; or
convicted by any court in Singapore of any offence punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding 12 months and a warrant of arrest by a court in Singapore authorising his apprehension in relation to that offence remains in force.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b), where the conviction is by a court of law outside Singapore, the person shall not be so disqualified unless the offence is also one which, had it been committed in Singapore, would have been punishable by a court of law in Singapore.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (1)(a)(ii), the exercise of a vote in —
any national, state or provincial election; or
any election for the local government of any metropolitan or urban area,
in a country outside Singapore (but not an election under this Act or a presidential election) shall be deemed to be the voluntary claim and exercise of a right available under the law of that country.
—(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person shall be entitled to have his name entered in the register of one electoral division only.
(2) Any person who votes as an elector —
in or in respect of an electoral division other than the electoral division in which he is registered as an elector;
more than once at any election in or in respect of the same electoral division in which he is registered as an elector; or
in or in respect of more than one electoral division at any general election,
shall be guilty of an illegal practice.
—(1) The Minister may, from time to time, by notification in the Gazette, specify the names and boundaries of the electoral divisions of Singapore for purposes of elections under this Act.
(2) The number of electoral divisions of Singapore shall be the total number of the electoral divisions specified in the notification made under subsection (1).
—(1) For the purposes of electing Members of Parliament on a group basis to ensure the representation in Parliament of Members from the Malay, Indian and other minority communities under this Act, the President shall, subject to this section, by order published in the Gazette —
declare any electoral division, having regard to the number of electors in that division, to be a group representation constituency and designate that constituency as a constituency in which any election is to be held on the basis of a group of such number of candidates, being not less than 3 but not more than 6; and
designate every group representation constituency as —
a constituency where at least one of the candidates in every group shall be a person belonging to the Malay community; or
a constituency where at least one of the candidates in every group shall be a person belonging to the Indian or other minority communities.
[10/88; 9/91; 42/96]
(1A) There shall at all times be at least 8 electoral divisions which are not group representation constituencies.
(2) The number of Members to be returned by all group representation constituencies shall not be less than one-quarter of the total number of Members to be returned at a general election.
[10/88; 9/91; 42/96]
(3) The number of group representation constituencies to be designated under subsection (1)(b)(i) shall be three-fifths of the total number of group representation constituencies; and where that number is not a whole number, it shall be rounded to the next higher whole number.
—(1) Whenever any electoral division of Singapore is altered or a new division is created, the Registration Officer shall —
subdivide that division into polling districts;
assign to each such polling district a distinguishing letter or letters; and
publish in the Gazette a notice in Form 2 in the First Schedule specifying —
the polling districts into which that electoral division has been subdivided; and
the distinguishing letter or letters assigned to each such polling district.
(2) The subdivision of an electoral division into polling districts may be altered by the Registration Officer as occasion may require; and upon any such alteration being made he shall publish in the Gazette a notice specifying in relation to that electoral division the particulars mentioned in subsection (1)(c).
(3) Any alteration under subsection (1) shall come into effect on the date of the publication of the notice under section 20(1) relating to the next certification of the register of electors for that electoral division, but the revision of the register before such certification shall be made on the basis of that alteration.