Ong Ye Kung: GE may be held amid Covid-19 outbreak as 'democracy still has to go on'

He noted that the primaries are still ongoing in the United States.

Kayla Wong | April 08, 2020, 12:00 PM

Singapore's General Election may be held during the Covid-19 outbreak as "democracy still has to go on", Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said.

"Life still goes on"

Speaking at a live interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, April 7, Ong addressed the question of holding elections in Singapore while businesses and schools are closed as well, saying that "life still goes on".

He said as the country has to have an election by April 2021 constitutionally, there is "a good chance" that it may well have to hold its election while the Covid-19 outbreak is "still going on".

Singapore can still hold GE in "a safe way"

He added that he thinks the country could still have election campaigns and voting in "a safe way" should the outbreak be kept under control, adding that the presidential primaries are still ongoing in the United States.

The interview ended with Ong saying: "I think we just have to accept that Covid-19 will be with us for quite some months, and we just have to ensure that life can go on, and that democracy can go on."

U.S. primaries 2020

The U.S. has been holding its presidential primary elections and caucuses since the beginning of 2020 in preparation for the election in November.

However, amid the Covid-19 outbreak, many states, such as New York, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana and Kentucky have postponed their primaries to June, CNN reported.

Some other states, such as Alaska and Hawaii, have cancelled in-person voting, and will be conducting the primaries by mail-in ballots instead.

A survey conducted by Pew Research Centre from March 19 to 24 also shows that nearly seven in 10 voters in the U.S. are in favour of the decision as well.

Such opinion appears to be bipartisan as well, with about 64 per cent of Republican voters and 71 per cent of Democratic voters agreeing that postponing the state primary elections is a necessary move to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

Top image via Ong Ye Kung/Facebook