Singapore on Wednesday elected 63-year old Halimah Yacob as its first female president.
Halimah Yacob who was a former speaker of parliament from the Muslim Malay minority became the first woman and first Malay in 47 years to ascend to the highest office, after successfully filing her nomination papers on Wednesday as the sole eligible candidate for this year’s reserved Presidential Election.
Halimah did not have to face an election for the largely ceremonial post after authorities decided her rivals did not meet 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).
She addressed the concerns about the selection process after being named president-elect, she said, “I’m a president for everyone, regardless of race, language, religion or creed. Although there’s no election, my commitment to serve you remains the same,”.
“Every woman can aspire to the highest office in the land when you have the courage, determination and will to work hard,”.
She will be officially sworn in as Singapore’s eighth President on Thursday, 6pm, at the Istana, the Prime Minister’s Office announced.
Returning Officer Ng Wai Choong declared Mdm Halimah as the President-elect at the People’s Association headquarters along King George’s Avenue to loud cheers by hundreds of Mdm Halimah’s supporters.