Voting in Singapore’s first competitive presidential election since 2011 ended on Friday. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a former minister, is ran to succeed the President Lee Hsien Loong as the country’s next leader of Indian descent who was born in Singapore.
The elections that began on September 1, at 8 o’clock (local time) on September 2, the votes closed. As ballot boxes were carried to counting centers and sealed, a sample count will be conducted to provide a preliminary assessment of the likely outcome.
The results of the election were not known to the public until the returning officer made a statement.
More than 2.7 million people had cast ballots by the time the polls closed. This was Singapore’s first presidential election in 12 years because the last one, held in 2017, was uncontested and only open to Malay candidates.
The sole qualified candidate was the current president, Madam Halimah Yacob, who took office on September 13 after Nomination Day. Halimah made the decision not to run for reelection.
Former senior minister Tharman, former chief investment officer of the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC), and former chairman of the NTUC Income, a state-owned union-based insurance organization, Tan Kin Lian were the three contenders for the 2023 presidential election.
Here’s a timestamp based break down of the events as it was happening:
When the polls opened at 8 am, eligible voters began cast their ballots. The administration had proclaimed Friday a national holiday since voting is required.
Before the final results were announced, Singaporeans learnt the conclusion of the presidential election around 10 or 11 p.m.
The Straits Times newspaper said that the results of a sample count, which were anticipated to be finished two to three hours after polls close at 8 p.m., would be posted on the Elections Department (ELD) website.
Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian were the other two contenders in the campaign to become the nation’s ninth President, in addition to Tharman.
On September 13, President Halimah’s six-year term will come to an end. She is the seventh and first female president of the nation.
Since entering politics in 2001, Tharman has held ministerial and public sector roles with the governing People’s Action Party (PAP).
Tharman uses his worldwide expertise in a variety of disciplines, such as pandemic preparation and human development, to argue that he is qualified to be the next president of the developed country.
He also has previous government experience and is familiar with the city state’s foreign reserves, which are thought to total more than S$2 trillion.
Tan cited his thirty years of experience running NTUC Income.
Ng and Tan have continued to declare themselves as having “no political affiliation,” while Tharman, who served as Singapore’s deputy prime minister from 2011 to 2019, resigned from all public and political positions in July in order to run for president.
There have previously been two presidents of Indian descent in Singapore.
Singapore’s president, Sellapan Ramanathan, often known as S R Nathan, was a Tamil-American politician and civil servant from Singapore. Nathan beat Benjamin Sheares in 2009 to become Singapore’s president for the longest.
Devan Nair, also known as Chengara Veetil Devan Nair, was Singapore’s third president from 1981 until his resignation in 1985. Nair was the son of a rubber plantation clerk from Thalassery, Kerala, who was born in Malacca, Malaysia, in 1923.
This year, a number of new elements were added to enhanced the voting process.
Instead of taking their physical cards to the polls, voters can use the Singpass app to submit their digital National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) and ePoll card.
On the ballot paper, a self-inking X-stamp was also added.
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