SINGAPORE: As the Election Department (ELD) unveiled the results of its sample count for Singapore’s 2023 Presidential Election, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a former senior minister of the People’s Action Party, leading at an overwhelming 70% of the vote, cementing his role as Singapore’s President.
Among Mr Tharman’s fellow contenders, Mr Ng Kok Song, the former GIC investment chief, garnered 16% of the vote, while Mr Tan Kin Lian, the former NTUC Income chief, secured 14%.
Enthusiastic supporters of Mr Tharman erupted into chants of “Tharman” upon seeing the sample count results at Taman Jurong Food Centre.
Addressing reporters after the sample count was announced, Mr Tharman expressed his profound gratitude, stating that he was “humbled by the strong endorsement that Singaporeans have given to me”.
He extended his appreciation to his fellow candidates for contributing to a competitive presidential election.
Furthermore, Mr Tharman thanked the citizens of Singapore for their diligent engagement and calm participation throughout the election period.
“I believe that the vote for me and what I stand for is a vote of confidence in Singapore. It’s a vote of optimism that we can progress together.”
The President is the Head of State and holds office for a term of 6 years.
According to ELD, the President has two important roles – first, as a symbol and unifier of a diverse and multi-racial Singapore; and second, as a custodian of our nation’s past reserves and the integrity of our public service.
While the role of the Singaporean President is largely ceremonial, the city-state has recently experienced a heated Presidential Election campaign, marking the first contested presidential election in over a decade.
Public sentiment during the PE 2023 reflects concerns among Singaporeans, particularly with the ruling party embroiled in controversies.
Issues such as the cost of living, housing affordability, and the nation’s future direction have been prominently voiced.
Although the presidency is constitutionally a non-partisan role, political divisions emerged prior to the election to replace the incumbent Halimah Yacob. Yacob herself had run uncontested for her six-year term in 2017.
Mr Tharman has come under scrutiny since his resignation from the government and the ruling party in June this year, as he seeks to contest in the Presidential race.
Singaporeans cast their vote on Friday to elect their ninth president from three candidates
There are a total of 2,709,455 eligible voters for PE 2023 in the updated voter rolls – an increase of over 55,000 people from the 2,653,942 electors in GE2020.
The polls began at 8 a.m. and closed at 8 p.m. As of 5 p.m. on Friday, a total of 2,302,996 Singaporeans, representing approximately 85 per cent of eligible voters, have cast their vote at the 1,264 polling stations across the island.
Later, the sealed ballot boxes from the polling stations were transported to the 215 counting centres across Singapore, where the ballots were poured out and sorted by election officials.