SINGAPORE: Presidential aspirant Tharman Shanmugaratnam has officially filed his application for the upcoming presidential election.
Tharman’s media team confirmed to local media that the forms were submitted on Monday morning.
The certificate of eligibility verifies that the applicant possesses integrity, good character, and reputation. Furthermore, it ensures that the candidate meets the necessary public or private sector service requirements to contest for the presidency.
Applicants must submit the form and all supporting documents to the Elections Department no later than five days after the Writ of Election is issued.
The Presidential Election Committee (PEC) will release the certificate of eligibility no later than the eve of Nomination Day.
After launching his presidential campaign in July with the slogan “Respect for All,” the 66-year-old former senior minister shared his vision for a “new era presidency.”
The former People’s Action Party (PAP) politician and Senior Minister emphasized that the public should evaluate presidential candidates based on their track records, rather than their past associations.
The race for the presidency is heating up, with several candidates announcing their intentions. Ng Kok Song, 75, former investment head at the sovereign wealth fund GIC, made known his application submission last Wednesday, aiming to qualify via the public sector deliberative track.
Entrepreneur George Goh, 63, also entered the contest, submitting his forms the previous week.
While both are hopeful about meeting the qualification benchmarks, some observers have noted that Ng and Goh’s respective companies might not meet the stringent standards set for private sector candidates, who ideally should helm a company with over S$500 million in shareholder equity.
In a twist, former presidential contender Tan Kin Lian, 75, confirmed his application but remains on the fence about contesting.
Sharing his views, the former NTUC Income CEO expressed confidence that both he and Tharman, his perceived main competitor, meet the constitutional eligibility criteria.
However, he voiced reservations regarding the qualifications of Goh and Ng, acknowledging that the PEC might exercise discretion in certain eligibility aspects.
Of the four aspiring candidates, only Tharman qualifies outright under the public sector candidate criteria.
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