Featured News East Coast residents tell Nicole Seah that a review of 'stringent' qualifications...

East Coast residents tell Nicole Seah that a review of ‘stringent’ qualifications of Presidential candidates may be needed

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Ms Seah wrote that it would be prudent to revisit the requirements so as not to “limit ourselves too drastically with regards to the selection pool”

SINGAPORE: This year’s Presidential Election, which is scheduled to be held by September 13, is a hot topic at the moment, with Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and entrepreneur George Goh Ching Wah expressing intent to mount a presidential bid.

And while some have wondered whether former Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang would contest as well, some East Coast residents seem to believe that a review of the qualifications to run for the presidency is needed.

During a visit to Bedok Block 216 Hawker Centre with fellow WP leader Kenneth Foo over the weekend, Ms Nicole Seah, who leads that party’s youth wing, wrote that some residents “had also asked for a review of the stringent qualifications of Presidential candidates and whether it would be prudent for us to revisit this so as to ensure we do not limit ourselves too drastically with regards to the selection pool.”

Before candidates are given certificates of eligibility by the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC), they must be assessed to be individuals of integrity, good character and reputation.

Perhaps more significantly, there’s also a public sector requirement for would-be candidates, as they must have held office as Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker, Attorney Attorney-General, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Auditor-General, Accountant-General or Permanent Secretary for at least three years or served as the chief executive of a key statutory board or government company, such as the Housing Development Board or GIC Private Limited, for at least three years.

And if the presidential hopeful is from the private sector, he or she must have held a top corporate executive position for a minimum of three years.

Additionally, the company’s average annual shareholders’ equity during its tenure must exceed S$500 million, and the company must maintain a net profit. The company cannot face liquidation or bankruptcy within three years after the candidate departs from their executive role.

There is a long list of requirements to be fulfilled in order to run for President in Singapore, and some have argued that perhaps such criteria are too strict. In any case, qualifying as a candidate for the presidential election is really no mean feat,” reads an article on singaporelegaladvice.com.

When residents asked WP MP Leon Perera (Aljunied GRC) if Mr Low would contest in the Presidential Election, he explained to them that “as far as I knew, it would be unlikely that Mr Low could meet the requirements set out in law to run in the Presidential Election.”


Residents ask Leon Perera if ex-WP chief Low Thia Khiang will run for President

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