Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Writ of Election from 3 August - Presidential Election Date?

Channel News Asia has suggested that the Writ of Election will be issued from today, i.e. from 3 August 2011. The national broadcaster suggested this date because of developments from the Election Department. With such date made public by the national broadcaster, it is simply almost certain that 3 August will be the day that the Writ is issued.

What next? Well, straight after the Writ is issued, the 5 candidates who indicated their aspiration to be the next President of Singapore, will have up to 3 days to submit their applications for the Certificate of Eligibility to run for the President. Since it is stated as 'days' and not 'working days', that means should the Writ be issued on 3rd August, the candidates will have up to this Saturday (i.e. 6th August) to submit their applications. 

If we keep this T+3 day rule in mind (i.e. 3 days from the issuance of Writ of Election for application submission), there isn't any other ideal date for issuing Writ of Election except on the 3rd August, or from 10th August onwards. 

Why? 4th August is no good, since that means the T+3 date land up on a Sunday, which is a bad day for dealing with administrative stuff. Civil servants wouldn't typically choose a Sunday to handle such an important procedure dealing with Presidential Election. 

5th August means 8th August is the T+3 date. While possible, this means the media's attention on the 8th August will be focus on election matters, and not National Day celebrations, which is again a no-no. 

6th August means application deadline is 9th August, the National Day, which is definitely a no-no. 

7th August is a Sunday, and the 8th - 9th August will be devoted to matters of National Day. So I guess the best bet is still 3rd August.

We know that Dr Tony Tan and Mr Tan Kin Lian had submitted their applications, and that leaves us with the other three candidates - Mr Tan Jee Say, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, and Mr Andrew Kuan. Understandably, there may be confusion for some heartlanders (or those not familiar at all with local politics) which 'Tan' they will like to vote for when our citizens are at the polling station. So the Elections Department has decided that the ballot paper will have the photographs of the candidates.

With the list of candidates settled, there remains the other unknown for this Presidential election, i.e. the date. There is much speculation that the date will be 27th August, i.e. the last Saturday of this month. I personally think 27th August 2011 will be a good date for election, for a simple reason. There is a public holiday, Hari Raya Puasa, on the 30th August 2011, i.e. following Tuesday. Thus should 27th August, the Saturday, be a polling day, many companies and organisations will provide the following Monday as a day off.

Thus folks can wake up early in the morning of 27th August, vote for their ideal candidate, and enjoy the extremely long weekend from 27th August till 30th August, i.e. 4 days off! Knowing the well-oiled machinery of Singapore's bureaucracy, 27th August will indeed be a best bet for the coming Singapore Presidential Election date. We will know soon if my guesses are correct.

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