Halimah Yacob became the new president of Singapore, who until recently was the Speaker of Parliament. This was announced on Wednesday by the chairman of the election commission, after checking all the documents submitted by her staff.
Thus, the 63-year-old Halimah Yacob became the first woman president of the country, as well as the first representative of the Malay community to occupy this post in 47 years.
In addition to the ex-speaker, four more candidates for the highest public office planned to participate in the elections, but two candidates were rejected at the very first stage of filing documents since they were not from the Malay community. According to the resolution adopted last November, only the Malays could take part in the current campaign. In addition to them, two more communities live in Singapore – the Chinese and the Indians, whose representatives also occupy various high posts.
Two other candidates withdrew from the distance on September 11, when they failed to get a certificate for the right to be elected. According to the rules, applicants for a presidential position should have a civil service experience or lead a company whose capitalization exceeds 500 million Singapore dollars (371 million US dollars). Adopted in June this year, the amendment corresponded only to the candidacy of Halimah Yacob.
As a result, the only candidate for the presidency was ex-speaker. In such a situation, according to local legislation, presidential elections are not held and the candidate is automatically declared president.
At the same time, the power of the president in Singapore is limited, and the country is actually governed by the prime minister. The head of state can use the right of veto when considering the draft budget, appointments in the government, petitions for pardoning convicted criminals, and also is the custodian of gold and foreign exchange reserves. Government decisions are rarely challenged, and the main role of the president in Singapore is to consider petitions for clemency from prisoners sentenced to death.