Elections Department

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The Elections Department on Prinsep Link.

The Elections Department is a department of the government of Singapore under the Prime Minister's Office that oversees the procedure for elections in Singapore, including parliamentary elections and presidential elections. It sees that elections are fairly carried out and has a supervisory role to safeguard against electoral fraud. It has the power to create constituencies and redistrict them, with the justification of preventing malapportionment.

Although the President of Singapore has the authority to create group representation constituencies of Singapore from several electoral wards, the Elections Department is generally the government authority which advises the President on which constituencies are created, and which constituencies are redistricted.

Controversy[edit]

The Elections Department is supposedly a neutral and impartial entity, but the opposition parties in the politics of Singapore question whether there are true, clear separation of powers between the current ruling party of Singapore, the People's Action Party (PAP), and the Elections Department.

The Elections Department is under the office of the Prime Minister of Singapore, and is able to draw polling districts and polling sites with pinpoint precision. Opposition leaders such as Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) accuse the Elections Department of not being politically separate from the ruling party. This, the opposition argues, leads to intentional carrying out of gerrymandering on behalf of the PAP, like in the cases of Cheng San GRC and Eunos GRC. It is unlike an Electoral Commission in most other Commonwealth countries which is clearly independent of the ruling government. The redrawing has been mocked on a widespread basis, including satire websites such as TalkingCock.com. This criticism and mocking is thought to partially due to the electoral boundaries being redrawn shortly before each election, often with the creation of new single member constituencies, or the merging of single member constituencies into group representation constituencies.

External links[edit]