2.27m voters to go to the polls

By Rachel Chan

An estimated 2.27 million voters will go to the polls on Aug 27 to elect the third Elected President of Singapore, if it is contested.

An estimated 2.35 million voters were previously listed on the electoral register.

About 140,000 Singaporeans had their names struck off the electoral roll for not voting in the May 7 General Election while about 71,000 names have been reinstated. A total of 5,504 overseas voters have registered to vote at the nine polling stations abroad.

Each presidential candidate is allowed to hold only one outdoor rally during the nine-day campaigning period.

And, for the first time, Singaporeans will cast their votes on ballot papers which carry each presidential candidate's photograph as well as a graphic image of an object chosen by the candidate.

A handbook to help candidates and their election agents comply with the provisions of the Presidential Elections Act and its Regulations was launched yesterday. It is available from Monday at the Elections Department for $8.50.

There will be 781 polling stations and 162 polling centres on Polling Day, which falls on a Saturday.

These details were revealed during a media briefing held at the Elections Department in Prinsep Link yesterday. It comes a day after the writ of election was issued by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday.

Private tutor Ooi Boon Ewe, 71, who later arrived at the Elections Department, told reporters that he had submitted his application for a certificate of eligibility two weeks ago.

The Presidential Elections Committee Secretariat confirmed that he had done so on July 11.

Four of the five other contenders have already applied for their certificate of eligibility.

They are former deputy prime minister Tony Tan, 71; former Member of Parliament Tan Cheng Bock, 71; former NTUC Income chief Tan Kin Lian, 63; and former senior civil servant Tan Jee Say, 57.

Former JTC Corp group chief financial officer Andrew Kuan, 57, has collected the forms.

At a dialogue session and book launch held at Suntec Convention Centre yesterday, Dr Tony Tan warned of "dark clouds on the horizon". He also spoke of the possibility of a double-dip recession in the coming months, citing the debt crisis in the United States and Europe.

He said: "I believe that I will be able to make a contribution to help the Government and the ministers who are involved in this to understand the situation better."

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