SDP calls for independent inquiry over 'missteps, mistakes' in GE
The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) yesterday called for an independent inquiry into how the recent general election was conducted, citing "mistakes, missteps and misdirections", including an incident where a woman was wrongly prevented from voting.
The Elections Department (ELD) earlier said that "human error and miscommunication" had led to a woman, known only as Madam Lum, being unable to cast her vote on Polling Day in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.
At the polling station, she was told that she had already voted.
Madam Lum then reportedly filled out a "tendered ballot paper" - typically issued when someone applies to vote despite the register indicating that the person's vote had already been cast.
In a press release issued yesterday, SDP chairman Paul Tambyah said: "We call for the ELD to reveal how many such irregular events happened during the poll, and an independent inquiry into the conduct of the election, with a particular focus on issues such as the use of 'tendered ballot slips' which apparently were not counted in this election."
The Parliamentary Elections Act states that tendered ballot papers are not counted by the Returning Officer, but placed in separate packets according to the candidate or group of candidates they support.
The packets are sealed and retained unless required for the purposes of an application to void the results of an election.
Prof Tambyah added: "From the long queues at several counting stations to the changing instructions on the use of disposable gloves to the lack of advance information about the need for personal protective equipment for polling agents from 7pm and often conflicting instructions for that hour at the polling stations, coupled with the sudden and unexpected announcement about the extension of polling hours, this election has been fraught with missteps, mistakes and misdirections."
The PAP beat the SDP team in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, gaining 66.36 per cent of the votes.
The ELD had said earlier that it would conduct a review. - THE STRAITS TIMES