Singapore’s presidential elections are coming up soon. In light of that, our current president, Halimah Yacob, just issued a statement on Facebook revealing that she will not run for re-election.
Her term expires on 13 September—when it ends, she’ll have served Singapore as our president for six years, since she took office in 2017.
Does Not Have Plans To Run For Re-election
On 29 May, Madam Halimah announced in a statement on Facebook that she does not have plans to run for re-election in Singapore’s upcoming presidential elections, which are held in six-year intervals.
She said that she made this decision after “very careful consideration”.
Her full statement was released as images appended to her Facebook post, as well as a video message to the public.
She thanked the people of Singapore for their support, and expressed that it was a “great honour and privilege” to serve as president over the past six years.
Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, Madam Halimah also expressed her pride in Singaporeans for their unity and social cohesion during that difficult period, stating that “we are all united by our deep love for Singapore”.
Of course, she also highlighted our multi-racial and multi-religious society, which drew praise from foreign leaders that she met in her presidential term.
“The Presidency is the highest office in our land and is a key institution in our democracy,” she wrote, emphasising the importance of the role.
She stressed that the role would continue to be crucial in the future, especially as Singapore navigates a “troubled and uncertain world”.
Ending her statement, she reiterated that she felt “fortunate” for the opportunity to serve Singaporeans as our president, and said that she would “cherish” the memories of her journey as well as the people she encountered along the way. She also thanked her family for their support.
Her Legacy As President
Before she was President, the 68-year-old Madam Halimah was a speaker of parliament.
She was elected President in the 2017 Presidential Elections, and sworn into the role on 14 September, 2017. This was under the new rule, where candidates had to be of the Malay race to run for President.
Because of the rule, she was deemed the only candidate qualified, and therefore, won the election by default without holding a vote.
Although her election to the role was controversial, Singaporeans appreciated her dedication to social causes while in office. She was the first female President of Singapore.
During her term, she advocated for gender equality as well other pertinent social causes, and visited many countries to further bilateral ties. When COVID-19 struck, she approved a bill allowing the government to draw money from its reserves to help the people tide through the pandemic.
The role of President in Singapore has long been dubbed ceremonial; however, Madam Halimah’s contributions as President also cannot be overlooked.
Looking Ahead: The Next Election
The next election will not be restricted by race, and all candidates who meet the qualifications required will be able to run. The President will be elected by a majority vote.
The elections will be held this year, before 13 September—in light of this, we’ll definitely find out who exactly is running for President soon.
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