CAAS chief Han Kok Juan appointed Returning Officer for Singapore elections

SINGAPORE: Mr Han Kok Juan, the director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), has been appointed the Returning Officer for Singapore’s elections. 

Mr Han will assume the role from Apr 1, the Elections Department announced on Thursday (Mar 28).

He takes over from Mr Tan Meng Dui, CEO of the Housing and Development Board, who has been the Returning Officer since February 2018.

The Returning Officer is a public officer appointed by the Prime Minister to oversee the impartial and smooth conduct of elections. 

After the counting of votes, the Returning Officer also announces the results.

Mr Tan last oversaw the Presidential Election in September 2023, which saw Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam winning more than 70 per cent of the vote.

Singapore’s next General Election must be called by November 2025

The Elections Department said earlier this month that about 50,000 public officers are expected to be appointed and trained to manage nomination, polling and counting activities ahead of the next General Election. 

Some public servants have received notice of their role as election officials.

However, the Elections Department did not respond to questions about the average lead time between public servants being notified and an election being called. 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced last year that he would hand over the leadership to Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong before the next General Election, saying that “if all goes well”, he will do so by the People’s Action Party’s 70th birthday on Nov 21, 2024.

Given this timeline, political analysts told CNA last year that the election would most likely be held in November 2024 at the earliest.

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