Speaking at the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC National Day Dinner at Marsiling Mega Sports Park on Sunday (Aug 6), Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, 62 announced her decision to step down from her post to contest the upcoming presidential election in September.
Halimah said she had thought about the issue carefully since she announced three weeks ago of her consideration to run for presidency, ending months of speculation about her possible candidacy.
Besides stepping down as Speaker of Parliament, Madam Halimah will also have to step down as MP of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC by Nomination Day to contest. Currently, there is no constitutional requirement to call a by-election if an MP resigns. Madam Halimah said she will ask Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to appoint another MP in her place.
Madam Halimah will also have to resign from the People’s Action Party, where she is a member of the central executive committee and chair of the PAP Seniors Group.
Madam Halimah has been an MP since 2001, and Speaker of Parliament since January 2013. In her role as a Speaker, she is required to assume the duties of the President should both the President and the chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers be away.
The September presidential election, the highest public office in Singapore, will be reserved for Malay candidates following changes to the Constitution in 2016 to ensure that the position reflects Singapore’s multiracial society.
If Madam Halimah is nominated, she will be the first Malay-Muslim woman in Singapore’s history to be President. She was already Singapore’s first woman Speaker of Parliament.
So far, two other potential candidates have announced their intent to contest in the Presidential Elections. They are, Salleh Marican, 67, CEO of Second Chance holdings and Farid Khan, 62, chairman of marine service provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific.
See the video:
FB Live: We are live with Speaker Halimah Yacob, who has just announced plans to run for President. Our breaking story: http://bit.ly/2wjgV5U
Posted by TODAY on Sunday, 6 August 2017