Singapore GE2020: Political broadcasts to air daily from July 2-9

SINGAPORE – The two party political broadcasts (PPBs) for the upcoming general election will begin on Thursday (July 2) while those for constituency political broadcasts (CPBs) will roll out from Friday.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Wednesday announced that the PPBs will be aired across 19 TV and radio channels from 8pm on July 2 and July 9.

Since the 1980 election, parties that field at least six candidates under a recognised party symbol are eligible for airtime on free-to-air radio and television.

Independents and political parties fielding fewer than six candidates under the same recognised party symbol are not eligible for the PPBs. This means the People’s Power Party, Singapore Democratic Alliance, Singapore People’s Party and Red Dot United are not eligible to put out a PPB.

The broadcast of the party fielding the least number of candidates will be aired first, and vice versa. The amount of airtime allocated to each party is determined by the number of candidates it fields. The time allocation is:

Reform Party (six candidates): 2½ minutes

National Solidarity Party (10): 3 minutes

Peoples Voice (10): 3 minutes

Singapore Democratic Party (11): 3 minutes

Workers’ Party (21): 4½ minutes

Progress Singapore Party (24): 5 minutes

People’s Action Party (93): 13 minutes

Meanwhile, in between the two PPBs, Singaporeans will also be able to watch candidates speak in the constituency political broadcasts on Mediacorp’s Channel 5 from 7pm, from Friday to Wednesday.

CPBs are one-off arrangements to give parties and candidates more airtime to put their messages out to voters in view of the Covid-19 situation, which has meant that traditional election rallies, which typically attract thousands, are off the table.

Each candidate will get three minutes to speak, which means the broadcast for a single-member constituency (SMC) will last three minutes. That for a group representation constituency (GRC) will be 12 or 15 minutes, depending on whether it is a four- or five-member GRC, and regardless of how many candidates speak.

Candidates can choose to speak in any of the four official languages of English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, said the Elections Department on June 24, which rules out dialects, which were sometimes used by candidates at previous election rallies.

The CPBs will be broadcast based on the alphabetical order of the constituency, and the broadcasts for each constituency will start with the incumbent, which means Aljunied GRC’s Workers’ Party slate will kick off the CPBs and Yuhua SMC’s Singapore Democratic Party candidate Robin Low will wrap things up.

Details of the PPBs and CPBs will be released on Mediacorp’s website.

Singapore GE2020: Get full election coverage on our dedicated site here.

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