Who is eligible to be President?
A person is qualified to be a candidate for election as President if he:
1. is a citizen of Singapore;
2. is 45 years old and above on Nomination Day;
3. is registered as an elector in a current registers of electors;
4. is resident in Singapore on Nomination Day and has been so for a total period not less than 10 years;
5. is not subject to any of the disqualifications specified in Article 45 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore;
6. is not a member of any political party on the date of his nomination for election; and
7. satisfies the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) that he has, at the date of the Writ of Election, met either the public sector or private sector service requirement and the period(s) of service that he relies on falls partly or wholly within the 20 years that immediately precede the date of the Writ of Election.
The qualifications and disabilities of the President are set out in Article 19, 19A and 19B of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore.
What does the President do?
The President has the power to veto or disagree with the Government’s proposals in the following areas:
• Use of Past Reserves – i.e. Reserves not accumulated by the Government during its current term of office.
• Appointment and removal of key office holders in the public service and in the statutory boards and Government companies which are listed in the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.
• Changes to investment powers of the Central Provident Fund Board
• Restraining Orders under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (Cap. 167A)
• Continued detention under the Internal Security Act (Cap. 143)
• Refusal of investigations by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB)
The President’s discretionary powers provide an important check and balance to the Government with regard to preventing the misuse of the nation’s reserves and ensuring that the public service is impartial.
As the Ceremonial Head of State, the President is the symbolic figure representing Singapore at ceremonies and internationally.
The President may use the influence of his position to support charitable and social causes, such as sports, volunteerism, social entrepreneurship, culture and the arts. The President's Challenge championed by the President is one such example.
The President is often invited to grace events organised by grassroots, community and welfare groups, ethnic and religious celebrations and social activities.
The Istana is open to the public on national festivities such as the Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Deepavali, Labour Day and National Day. President will interact with members of the public during these open houses.