3 things you should know about the upcoming Presidential Election

Read this before you head to the ballot box.


1. Why not just appoint the President?

The President should not be appointed by the Government, as he/she serves as a check on the Government.

Besides serving as a unifying figure for Singaporeans of all races, the President has responsibilities pertaining to Singapore’s reserves.

While the Government holds the “first key” to Singapore’s reserves, the Constitution gives the President the “second key” — the authority to veto measures taken by the Government which requires drawing on past reserves. If the President is appointed by the Government, he/she may not be able to exercise his/her authority independently without being influenced by the Government.

This is why the President has to be elected by the citizens of Singapore. This will give him/her the mandate and legitimacy to check the elected Government, and be an effective custodian of Singapore’s reserves.

2. Can I run for President?

The upcoming Presidential Election will be reserved for candidates from the Malay community.

A Malay Community Sub-Committee will assess if you can consider yourself to be a member of the Malay community, and if you are generally accepted as a member by the Malay community.

3. Do I need to vote in the Presidential Election?

Voting is compulsory for all Singaporeans, and you should exercise your right and responsibility to elect the President.

If you fail to vote, you will not be able to vote or stand as a candidate at any subsequent Presidential or Parliamentary election, until your name is restored to the registers. You will have to submit an application to the Elections Department (ELD) to restore your name and explain why you did not vote in the election. A $50 fee will be imposed if you do not have a valid reason for not voting.

For more info, visit https://www.gov.sg/pe2017.

This article is accurate as of Aug 2017.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the articles here are generally accurate as of their publication dates. Please visit the relevant Goverment agency website for the latest updates.