SINGAPORE - Singapore will go to the polls on May 7.
The 11th Singapore Parliament was dissolved today, with the announcement made through a government gazette issued by President S R Nathan earlier this afternoon.
Nomination Day will be on April 27. This will be followed by nine days of campaigning with an extra Cooling-Off Day before Polling Day on May 7, which has been declared a public holiday.
The minimum period between Nomination Day and Polling Day has been extended from nine to 10 days to compensate for the extra Cooling-Off Day, which follows after nine days of campaigning.
This 24-hour cooling off period is to give voters some time to reflect rationally on issues raised during the election before going to the polls.
Candidates are banned from campaigning on the eve of Polling Day but party political broadcasts are allowed.
Number eligible to vote
In all, 2,311,582 Singaporeans are eligible to vote at the coming general election. In the 2006 general election, there were 2,158,439 eligible to vote. The number was 2,036,923 in 2001.
More than one in four voters will be aged 21 to 34. Of these, some 200,000 are first-time voters.
The upcoming election will have a total of 87 seats in 27 constituencies, comprising 12 single-member constituencies (SMCs) and 15 GRCs, to be contested.
Minority representation in Parliament
Under Singapore's election laws, all 15 Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) must have at least one Malay candidate or a person belonging to the Indian or other minority communities.
GRCs, created in 1988, guarantee minority representation in Parliament.
There are nine GRCs where at least one Malay candidate must be fielded - Aljunied, Bishan-Toa Payoh, East Coast, Pasir Ris-Punggol, Tampines, Marine Parade, Moulmein-Kallang, Chua Chu Kang and Sembawang.
In the six other GRCs, at least one candidate must be from the Indian or other non-Malay minority communities. These are Ang Mo Kio, Tanjong Pagar, Nee Soon, Jurong, Holland-Bukit Timah and West Coast.