Singapore Elects Hijab-Wearing Muslim Woman As First Female President
Image Courtesy: Vivek Prakash/Reuters
Singapore is all set to have its first female president who is a hijab-wearing Muslim woman. Halimah Yacob was the only candidate to meet the country`s presidential nomination requirements according to the Straits Times.
Yacob will soon be President-elect after nominations close on Wednesday and will take oath for office on Thursday. The only candidate to be elected as the President may have sparked a debate about the candidature and the overall electoral process.
According to The New York Times, a Constitutional Commission, established by the prime minister, set the criteria for the election, which were approved by Parliament. On Monday, Ms. Halimahh was certified as the only eligible candidate, and since she has no opponent, there will be no election.
“I can only say that I promise to do the best that I can to serve the people of Singapore and that doesn’t change whether there is an election or no election,” says Yacob according to Channel News Asia.
It is pertained to mention here that the office of the President is largely ceremonial like the majority of the parliamentary democracies in the region.
While commenting on Haima`s nomination and prospects towards the presidency, many are of the view that competition would have added to her legitimacy.
According to Eugene Tan, there has been a “groundswell” of criticism online about the lack of an election. Tan in a conversation with The Newyork Times admitted to the online criticism Halimah is receiving amid absenteeism of other candidates.
“Obviously there is work that I have to do, but the most important thing for me is I would like Singaporeans to work together with me,” Halimah said, according to Channel News Asia.