Singapore’s Former Indian-Origin Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam Triumphs in Presidential Election

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In a historic election, former Singapore deputy prime minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has been elected as the President of Singapore, marking the city-state’s first contested vote for this largely ceremonial position in over a decade. The Elections Department officially declared Shanmugaratnam as the victor, securing an impressive 70.4 percent of the ballots cast, leaving his two rival candidates behind.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s Election: Election returning officer Tan Meng Dui announced, “I declare Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam as the candidate duly elected as the president of Singapore.” This victory sees Shanmugaratnam stepping into the role previously held by incumbent Halimah Yacob, who ran unopposed for her six-year term in 2017.

Confidence in Singapore’s Future: In a pre-results speech, President-elect Tharman Shanmugaratnam expressed his belief that his election symbolizes a vote of confidence in Singapore and an optimistic outlook for a future of progress and unity.

Presidential Responsibilities: The role of Singapore’s President comes with significant responsibilities, including the formal oversight of the city’s substantial financial reserves and the authority to veto specific measures and approve anti-graft investigations. These stringent requirements underscore the importance of the position in Singapore’s governance.

PAP’s Boost and Shanmugaratnam’s Independence: Observers note that Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s victory provides a boost to the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), which is widely perceived to support his candidacy. The PAP, which has maintained continuous rule in Singapore since 1959, faced political challenges in the lead-up to the presidential election due to various scandals. Shanmugaratnam, a former finance minister, transitioned from being a long-time PAP stalwart to running for the non-partisan role of president. His independence was a subject of scrutiny during the campaign due to his prior government ties.

Conclusion: Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s election as President of Singapore signifies a significant moment in the nation’s political landscape. His victory and the renewed confidence in Singapore’s future underscore the importance of this ceremonial role. As he takes on the responsibilities of the presidency, all eyes are on Shanmugaratnam to guide Singapore through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.


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