The campaign period commences after nomination proceedings end on the day of nomination and ends with the start of the eve of Polling Day (i.e. Cooling-off Day).

As the office of the President is the highest position in the land, the focus of the Presidential Election campaign should be on the suitability and integrity of candidates to discharge the functions of the President, while maintaining the dignity of the office. Candidates should campaign for election as President in a manner that is dignified, decorous and consistent with the President’s position as the Head of State and the symbol of national unity. Candidates should steer away from negative campaigning practices, i.e. the denigration of opposing candidates and any other practices that may be provocative. Candidates should also not make false statements, for example, unfounded allegations of corruption or commission of criminal offences, or statements that may cause racial or religious tensions or affect social cohesion. They must also ensure that their campaign is free from foreign influence.

Election-related activities can only be conducted by candidates, election agents or third parties authorised in writing by candidates or their election agents.

The modes of campaigning can be categorised into the following:

Candidates may generally engage in the following activities during the campaign period, subject to them obtaining the relevant licences or permits from other regulatory authorities or the Returning Officer accordingly and within the limits prescribed by law:

  1. conduct walkabouts and house-to-house visits;
  2. distribute pamphlets, handouts, newsletters;
  3. publish manifestos;
  4. publish candidate's biographical details;
  5. use private vehicles (whether mechanically propelled or otherwise) for broadcasting of election messages;
  6. organise election meetings;
  7. publicly display traditional election advertising, i.e. non-online election advertising in the form of a banner, flag or poster; and
  8. publish Online Election Advertising (OEA), i.e. election advertising that is published in any way that renders the election advertising accessible from the Internet.

Local free-to-air television and radio channels will give airtime to each candidate. Candidates who intend to distribute or publicly exhibit films must submit them to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) for classification. For further information, refer to the TV, Radio & Films webpage.

To ensure transparency and accountability, published-by requirements will apply to all paid and unpaid election advertising. An exception to the published-by requirements applies to Singapore citizens, who are not candidates or election agents, and who publish OEA at no other person’s direction and on no other person’s behalf, and did not receive or agree to receive payment for such publication. These individuals will continue to be exempted from the published-by requirements.

To ensure a level playing field and to prevent ‘money politics’, the law imposes a maximum spending limit for election expenses. For further details, refer to the Election Finance webpage.

Election activity includes any activity which is done for the purpose of promoting or procuring the electoral success at any election for any candidate; or for the purpose of prejudicing the electoral prospects at the election of any other candidate.

The following persons are prohibited by law from taking part in any election activity:

  1. a person who is below 16 years of age[1];
  2. a person who has an order of supervision made against him under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act 1955; or
  3. a person who is a foreigner or foreign entity[2].

Any person conducting any election activity, whether online, offline or both, must first be in possession of a written authority signed by the candidate or any of his election agents, issued on or after Nomination Day, authorising him to conduct election activity.

The Authority to Conduct Election Activity form will be provided to candidates at the end of nomination proceedings on Nomination Day if the election is contested. Candidates and their election agents can also download the form via Candidate Services. Particulars of all written authorities issued by a candidate or any of his election agents must be submitted to the Returning Officer. Candidates and their election agents can make the submissions online via Candidate Services or in person at the Elections Department.

Workers, who are Singapore Permanent Residents or work-pass holders, do not need written authorities to conduct any election activity if they carry out manual work solely pursuant to a contract for service between a candidate (or his election agents) and a person authorised to conduct election activities. Examples of such services include:

  1. putting up and taking down of traditional election advertising (i.e. banners, flags and posters); and
  2. setting up and dismantling of any physical facilities (such as stages and tents) at meeting sites or assembly centres.

[1] For example, a person below 16 years old should not appear in any photograph or video that endorses support for a candidate, or help out in the logistics of election campaigning, i.e. putting up banners, flags or posters for a candidate.

[2] Foreigners and foreign entities, including foreign media, are not allowed to participate in political contestation, such as promoting or voicing support for a candidate, or making political donations to candidates. For example, a foreign media company is not allowed to release an op-ed declaring support for an election candidate. Foreigners should also not be engaged in work such as developing campaigning strategies, creating campaign materials, promoting outreach to electors, etc.

Candidates or their election agents may open one election office per polling district, but such an office must be outside a radius of 200 metres of any polling station.

It is an offence to open or maintain an office at or near a polling station for the purpose of influencing the voters' decisions when casting their votes.

Under the law, political parties, candidates and their election agents can use the information recorded in the Registers of Electors (e.g. elector’s name and address) only for communicating with electors. The information must not be used for commercial or other purposes.

To do so, they may put in a request to purchase a copy of a Register of Electors via the online form. The unit price of each register is $130.80 (inclusive of 9% GST) and payment for each request must be made in a single PayNow transaction. The purchased register[1] will be ready within one week upon request, and the requestor will receive an email notification informing him that the purchased register is ready for download via FileSG[2]. Downloads will only be available for a one-week period. After which, the files will be deleted from the platform and the requestor will be informed accordingly via email.

For information on how the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 applies to election activities, including the use of information in the Registers of Electors, refer to the Personal Data Management webpage or the Advisory Guidelines on the Application of Personal Data Protection Act to Election Activities.

[1] Each purchased register will be provided in softcopy format, i.e. a password-protected zipped folder within which is a folder containing the data files for the Register of Electors of an electoral division. For enhanced security, all data files will be encrypted and password protected. Requestors, who purchased the Register of Electors of more than one electoral division, will see multiple folders when they unzip the zipped folder (i.e. one folder per electoral division).

[2] FileSG is a secure digital document management platform, developed by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), that allows members of the public to easily access and download documents issued by the Government.