Tagged: Group Representation Constituency

Shock Resignation of Speaker Michael Palmer – Another By-election in the Offing?

Parliament House photographed in August 2010

Parliament House, Singapore, photographed in August 2010. (Photograph by Smuconlaw [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via the Wikimedia Commons.)

Dr Jack Tsen-Ta Lee
Assistant Professor of Law
School of Law, SMU

THE SHOCK RESIGNATION of Michael Palmer as Speaker of Parliament, Member of Parliament for Punggol East Single Member Constituency (SMC), and member of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) due to a personal indiscretion has once again raised the intriguing possibility that a by-election may be called.

Things would have been different if Punggol East had been a Group Representation Constituency (GRC). No by-election may be called in a GRC unless all the MPs representing that constituency vacate their seats.[1]

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UK voters turned away from polling stations: Could it happen in Singapore?

Jack Tsen-Ta Lee
Assistant Professor of Law
School of Law, SMU

Voters casting their ballots at a polling station in Hackney, London. By Alex Lee, courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons.

ON POLLING DAY (Thursday, 6 May 2010) of the general elections in the UK, election officials at some polling stations struggled to cope with a higher-than-usual turnout. There were long queues snaking up to the doors, in some cases with people braving rain. Unfortunately, would-be voters who had joined the queue before the polls closed at 10:00 pm were turned away at that time. In some cases, voters who were already inside the polling station but who had yet to cast their ballots were asked to leave. This led to angry scenes, with some voters even staging  sit-ins and refusing to leave polling stations, and claiming that they had been denied their right to vote. (See Gordon Rayner & Martin Beckford, “General Election 2010: Chaos at the polls as thousands denied the right to vote: Results in constituencies all over the country could be challenged today after thousands of people were denied the right to vote“, The Daily Telegraph (7 May 2010).)

Singapore is due for a Presidential election next year, and a general election for Parliament must be held by 2012. Could such a situation happen in Singapore? If so, what does the law say on the matter? Continue reading