A 63 year old woman, Halimah Yacob was declared Singapore’s eighth president on Wednesday,September 12 after a “walkover” election that saw no vote after no other contenders ran for the position.
Yacob, had been the only candidate deemed eligible to stand in the country’s Elections Department, having held a key public position as speaker of parliament for three years.
The other two contenders, Salleh Marican and Farid Khan, were both denied eligibility, having fallen short of a constitutional rule that required any candidate from the private sector to have led a company with shareholder equity of at least 500 million Singapore dollars (372 million dollars).
Following the announcement, Yacob thanked her supporters in a speech, calling it a “a proud moment for Singapore, for multiculturalism and multi-racialism.”
Yacob is Singapore’s first Malay president in 47 years and the first woman to occupy the president’s office.