PAP team points out error in RP form, averting possible walkover in West Coast GRC

SINGAPORE - A team of PAP candidates and supporters at the nomination centre at Keming Primary School in Bukit Batok spotted an error in the nomination forms put up by the Reform Party (RP) on Tuesday (Sept 1) to contest West Coast GRC in the Sept 11 General Election.

West Coast GRC candidate S. Iswaran pointed it out to RP leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam. "It isn't an easy thing to fix," he said.

Contacted by The Straits Times at the nomination centre shortly after the incident, Mr Iswaran explained what had happened. The Reform Party candidates had not stated whether they were contesting as a party or as independents on the form, which had been signed by the Commissioner of Oath.

"They were supposed to cross one out, but they didn't delete anything, and it was under oath," he said. A member of the People's Action Party (PAP) team spotted it and Mr Iswaran decided to point out the error to Mr Jeyaretnam.

Mr Iswaran said: "It was grounds for disqualification. But we felt it was important to point this out and give them opportunity to rectify the mistake in good time. We are not looking to win by default on a technicality - we want a fair fight."

This required the Reform Party candidates to take down the form, and correct the entry and have it certified by the Commissioner of Oath at the centre.

They managed to do this within about 10 to 15 minutes, and not miss the 12 noon deadline when nominations close.

Asked how the Reform Party responded, Mr Iswaran said: "They were surprised and appreciated the fact that we pointed it out in good time."

He added: "We did this in the spirit of being fair."

In the 2001 General Election, a Workers' Party team was disqualified from contesting when its nomination papers were found to be incomplete, as it had not filled in a blank for the name of the ward it wanted to contest, which was Aljunied GRC.


This article was first published on Sept 1, 2015.
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