Singapore’s presidential race thrown open as Halimah Yacob rules out re-election

  • Singapore’s presidential race was thrown wide open on Monday after incumbent Halimah Yacob said she would not be seeking a re-election when her six-year term is up in Sep 23.
  • Halimah said in a statement that she was “aware of the tremendous responsibilities of the presidency” and had taken on the position with the aim of cultivating a “more caring and compassionate society”.
  • While Singapore’s prime minister heads the government of the day, the president has the authority to veto spending bills or government requests to draw on past reserves.
  • According to national newspaper The Straits Times, executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings Ho Kwon Ping and former transport minister Khaw Boon Wan were among the potential candidates in the race, which is due to be held by Sep 13.
  • Lee Hsien Yang, the estranged younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has said he also is considering running for the position.
  • Some potential candidates who said they would not be running include former foreign minister George Yeo, and chairman of Singapore Airlines and DBS Group Holdings Peter Seah.

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