The Parliament of Singapore has passed the Bill to amend the Constitution of Singapore introducing changes to the Elected Presidency. The amendments to the constitution of Singapore were passed with a vote of 77 to 6. The 6 votes of ‘No’ were by Workers’ Party Members of Parliament.
The amendment besides specifying new qualifying criteria for Presidential candidates also increased the Council of Presidential Advisors from 6 to 8 and increases the number of Non-Constituency Member of Parliament from 9 to 12.
The amendment will also provide for a hiatus-trigger to kick-in when a member from any racial group has not occupied the President’s office after five continuous terms. In such a scenario, the next PE will be reserved for a candidate from that racial group. On this basis, a reserved election would be triggered if no candidate from a particular racial group has held the office of President for 30 years or more, said the Commission.
PM Lee said yesterday that on advise of the Attorney-General, his government decided that the clock should start ticking from President Wee Kim Wee “who exercised the powers of the Elected President” in 1991.
“Therefore by the operation of the hiatus-triggered model, the next election, due next year, will be a reserved election for Malay candidates…That means if a Malay candidate steps up to run or more than one Malay candidate steps up to run, who is qualified, Singapore will have a Malay President again… I look forward to this.” – PM Lee Hsien Loong
Parliament passing the Amendment Bill today effectively blocks Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s bid to contest the next PE.
This is an in-house report.