SINGAPORE: The upcoming presidential election has recently become a hot topic, with Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam throwing his hat into the ring last Thursday (June 8). Workers’ Party MP Leon Perera (Aljunied GRC) said that during a recent market outreach at the coffee shops at Blk 107 and 153 Serangoon North Ave 1, this was the topic of “many great conversations.”
“Some folks expressed concern that if Tharman were to be elected, the last two Presidents would be ex-PAP politicians who resigned from the PAP to run for the Presidential Election (and there were another two earlier),” wrote Mr Perera in a Sunday (June 11) Facebook post, adding that, “A few constituents asked if (former WP Secretary-General) Mr Low Thia Khiang could run.”
However, Mr Perera 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.”
Perhaps more importantly, he also told the residents that the position of the WP is that Singapore “should go back to purely ceremonial Presidents appointed by Parliament on the basis of rotation among the races; and that the current powers (areas of ‘exercisable discretion’) held by the Elected President be instead exercised by an elected Senate, as we outlined in Parliament in 2016 and as reflected in our GE2020 manifesto.”
Below is an excerpt of The Workers’ Party Manifesto from the election of 2020, which can be found in full here.
The presidential election is scheduled to be held by Sept 13, 2023.
Aside from being the former WP chief, Mr Low is the longest-serving opposition Member of Parliament, having served as an MP for 20 years.
He was hospitalised on Apr 30, 2020, suffering a head injury after a fall. He stayed at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital until May 21 of that year.
While he was still confined, the party announced that he and fellow MPs Chen Show Mao and Png Eng Huat would not contest in that year’s election, as the WP would “broaden its leadership base and also remain in touch with the ground as Singapore’s population changes.”
But the immensely popular Mr Low has remained active, lending his strength to several WP initiatives. /TISG