DTI News

February 26, 2024
English हिन्दी

“Prominent Indian-Origin Ex-Senior Minister joins Singapore’s presidential contest”

Singapore: Singapore’s political landscape is gearing up for a momentous event as Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the Indian-origin former senior minister, has formally applied for eligibility to contest the upcoming presidential election. The 2023 presidential election, scheduled for September, marks a significant transition as President Halimah Yacob’s six-year term draws to a close on September 13.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, aged 66, ignited his presidential campaign with a resolute promise to nurture the country’s culture, ensuring that Singapore remains a luminous beacon on the global stage. As the nation anticipates the forthcoming election, the spotlight has turned to these aspiring candidates vying for the esteemed position.

The process took a tangible step forward as Tharman Shanmugaratnam submitted his application for a certificate of eligibility, an essential prerequisite for presidential candidacy, according to a report by The Straits Times. This move underscores his commitment to engage in the democratic process and contribute to Singapore’s future.

Shanmugaratnam is not the only contender seeking recognition. Three other potential hopefuls, all of Chinese origin, have also entered the race. Former GIC investment chief Ng Kok Song, aged 75, expressed his aspiration by submitting the necessary forms on August 2, positioning himself for consideration under the public sector deliberative track. Meanwhile, entrepreneur George Goh, aged 63, marked his intention by submitting his eligibility form on August 4. Additionally, former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian, aged 75, has taken the first step by applying for a certificate of eligibility, although his decision to contest remains pending.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s reputation precedes him. He commanded a distinguished career, holding influential roles as Minister for Education and Finance, and culminating as Deputy Prime Minister from 2011 to 2019. Prior to his political journey, he made significant contributions as an economist and civil servant at the Monetary Authority of Singapore. His global footprint expanded with pivotal engagements at renowned international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Economic Forum, and the United Nations.

The path to the presidency in Singapore is marked by stringent criteria, reflecting the nation’s commitment to responsible leadership. Public sector presidential candidates are required to have held high-ranking positions, such as minister, chief justice, or attorney-general, for a minimum of three years. For private sector candidates, the prerequisites include having served as chief executives of companies with an average shareholders’ equity of at least SGD 500 million over three years.

As Singapore braces for its first presidential election since 2011, the absence of President Halimah seeking a second term has set the stage for a dynamic and closely-watched political race. With individuals of diverse backgrounds and experiences stepping forward, the nation eagerly awaits the unfolding narrative that will determine its future leader.

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