Singapore has its first woman president, Halimah Yacob, following an uncontested election.
The diverse city-state had already determined that, this time around, the presidency would go to a member of the minority Malay community.
Five candidates came forward. Two were not Malays, and two were underqualified and therefore ineligible. Yacob was qualified due to having served in a senior public office for over three years. She was declared the winner after nominations closed.
Yacob, the former speaker of Singapore’s parliament, said that “Although this is a reserved election, I’m not a reserved president. I’m a president for everyone.”
Many criticized the election and its strict eligibility requirements. Such criticism is rare in Singapore, a wealthy and politically stable country that has been governed since 1965 by the People’s Action Party (PAP).
Opposition politician Yet Jenn Jong noted in a blog post that, “It would have restored some of the lost moral authority by her winning against credible opponents through popular votes…She is, after all, a veteran in elections and has won handsomely in the four general elections she stood in.”
The presidency of Singapore is a largely ceremonial six-year post.