Voting today for a new president
Around 2.2 million Singaporeans go to the polls again today to vote for a new president. Polling stations will be open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time and voting is compulsory.
There are four candidates. The ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) preferred candidate Dr Tony Tan who resigned as a member of PAP in June (presidential candidates cannot be members of any party), Tan Cheng Bock, Tan Kin Lian and Tan Jee Say. All four have links with the government or civil service.
The previous president S. R. Nathan was elected unopposed in 1999 and 2005 which makes these elections the first since 1993. The campaign has been vigorous with all four candidates being strident in their views, although Tony Tan is the only one who has not openly criticised aspects of the PAP government.
The role of president is largely ceremonial, although he does have veto over the use of Singapore’s $250 billion foreign reserves.
The results are expected within hours of the close of poll.