Today, September 13, Singapore will get a new female president; however, she will not be elected
Halimah Yacob, aged 63, former speaker of Parliament is on her way to becoming the country’s first female president, while also the first in five decades to come from the Malay ehnicity.
However, what could have been a notable milestone for the democracy in Singapore is instead questioned as a rigged process; moreover, her legitimacy is under fire.
Even though Singapore’s Constitution provides for voters to elect their president, the government established criteria that only leaves Ms. Halimah in the race.
This Monday, she was certified by the Presidential Elections Commission as the only eligible candidate; since she has no other opponent, there won’t be any election.
“What would have otherwise been a democratic milestone is now besmirched with the ugly stain of an uncontested election — such is the cost of a government that thinks in terms of politics of power, as opposed to dignity,” wrote Rio Hoe, a law student, in a column on the website Consensus SG.
Ms. Halimah was a member of Parliament and leader of the People’s Action Party before she decided to give up her seat last month in order to run for president.
“I can only say that I promise to do the best that I can to serve the people of Singapore, and that doesn’t change whether there is an election or no election,” she told reporters Monday after she was certified as the only eligible candidate.
He campaign slogan “Do Good, Do Together” was judged as ungrammatical. As a response, she said that it is “very impactful”.