Singapore Just Got Its First Ever Female President In The Most Unusual Way
There have been a lot of mixed feelings over the emergence of the first ever female president in Singapore.
Singaporeans have criticized the way through which 63-year-old Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of the parliament from the Muslim Malay community, was elected into office on Wednesday, September 13.
Many called her win undemocratic as she was the only candidate qualified for the election.
There was no election for what is majorly a ceremonial post, after authorities disqualified her opponents for not meeting the eligibility criteria.
The other two contenders, Salleh Marican and Farid Khan, were both denied eligibility, having fallen short of a constitutional rule that required any candidate from the private sector to have led a company with shareholder equity of at least 500 million Singapore dollars (372 million dollars).
Yacob, a member of parliament for the ruling People’s Action Party for nearly two decades before resigning to contest the presidency, tackled the doubts about the selection process in a speech to a cheering crowd after she was named president-elect.
“I’m a president for everyone. Although there’s no election, my commitment to serve you remains the same,” she said.
Yacob is Singapore’s first Malay president in 47 years and the first woman to occupy the president’s office. While some have applauded the historic moment, the election has also drawn public criticism due to what was seen as a lack of democratic process.
Halimah, who will be sworn into office on Thursday, will serve as the president for the next six years.