Applications for Presidential Election to open on June 13

Applications for Presidential Election to open on June 13

Applications for the Certificate of Eligibility and submission of community declarations for the upcoming Presidential Election will open on Tuesday (June 13), the Elections Department (ELD) said on Monday. 

This year's Presidential Election will be an open one, the ELD added.

Those who wish to stand for this election must submit an application to the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) for a Certificate of Eligibility, as well as a community declaration to the Community Committee. 

In the Certificate of Eligibility, the PEC certifies that the applicant is a person of integrity, good character and reputation, and meets the relevant public sector or private sector service requirements. 

The community declaration to the Community Committee is for the purpose of ascertaining when the next reserved election will be held, the ELD explained.

Prospective candidates who do not consider themselves a part of the Chinese, Malay, Indian or Other Minority communities may state so in their community declaration. 

The ELD also encouraged applicants to use the digital services for candidates at the Elections Department website to prepare the application form for the Certificate of Eligibility.

These forms, however, must be printed out and submitted to ELD with all supporting documents no later than the fifth day after the Writ of Election is issued. Late applications will not be accepted.

This year, the Presidential Elections Committee is chaired by Lee Tzu Yang, who is also the Chairman of the Public Service Commission. Other members of the committee include: 

  • Ong Chong Tee, Chairman of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority 
  • Professor Chan Heng Chee, Member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights
  • Dr Chua Thian Poh
  • Justice Kannan Ramesh
  • Justice Quentin Loh

ELD also clarified that the Presidential Election may be held at any time from June 13 — three months before the date of expiration of the term of office of the incumbent president.

If it has not been held before the current president's term expires, it should be held shortly thereafter. 

President Halimah Yacob's term expires on Sept 13. 

If a new president is not elected by the time the incumbent president's term expires, Article 22N of the Constitution provides for an acting president until a new president is elected and assumes office. 

The acting president shall be the Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisors, of if he is unavailable, the Speaker of Parliament. 

In 2017, Minister Chan Chun Sing said that the period during which the acting president shall exercise the functions of the office of president should not exceed one month

However, the ELD was unable to comment on the timing of the upcoming Presidential Election, citing that it is "a matter for the Prime Minister to decide".

Senior Minister Tharman to run for president

Last Thursday, Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced that he will be running in the upcoming Presidential Election in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 

In order to join the race, Tharman will be stepping down as Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies and will also be resigning from the People's Action Party by July 7. 

Despite being touted as a trump card in the polls, the long-time Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC said he still hopes for a contest

"Having a contest is important for me. I much rather win or lose with the contest. My whole approach is not to shy away from competition, it has always been that way. It’s how I prove myself." 

READ ALSO: I make no assumptions about my chances, says SM Tharman after announcing he's running for president

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