President Halimah Yacob took office on 14 September 2017 for a six-year term. The next Presidential election must be conducted not more than 3 months before her term expires: between 13 June and 13 September 2023.
The 2017 election was, for the first time, reserved for Malay candidates. This year’s will be open to all races. Candidates cannot be affiliated to any political party on the date of nomination. Candidates must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Presidential Election Committee (PEC). They must also have their ethnicity ascertained by the Community Committee.
Academic analyses of the Presidency have focused on the Constitutional reforms that converted it from a largely ceremonial Westminster-style Head of State, to a popularly elected post with certain discretionary powers over the government’s use of Singapore’s reserves and senior appointments in the Public Services. More recent works have examined the creation of reserved elections to ensure that ethnic minorities periodically occupy the position.
These book chapters and journal articles are all freely accessible, courtesy of the authors and publishers.
FROM HISTORY TO PRESENT
Becoming President? – Jack Tsen-Ta Lee | The mechanics of how presidential elections are conducted, including candidate eligibility.
- Jack Tsen-Ta Lee. ‘From Eligibility to Election: The Mechanics of the Presidential Poll’. In Neo, J., Jhaveri, S. (eds) Constitutional Change in Singapore: Reforming the Elected Presidency. Routledge. (2021). – READ
Unintended Outcomes – Cherian George | Designed for stability, the elected Presidency produced surprising results in its early years.
- Cherian George (2000) “Grappling with the paradoxes of presidential power”. In Singapore: The Air-Conditioned Nation. Landmark Books (2000). – READ
CHECKS AND BALANCE… OR POLITICAL CONSOLIDATION?
Clipping the Government’s Wings? – Thio Li Ann | Assessing the extent to which the Presidency limits government powers.
- Thio Li-Ann (1995) “Working Out the Presidency: The Rites of Passage”, Singapore Journal of Legal Studies.– READ
The Presidency and Constitutional Democracy – Thio Li-Ann | Singapore’s elected presidency model, entailing election by default, risks undermining democracy.
- Thio Li-Ann (2007) “(S)electing the President – Diluting Democracy”, International Journal of Constitutional Law. doi: 10.1093/icon/mom017 – READ
Paradox of Presidency – Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman and Prashant Waikar | The criticality of the presidential institution remains marred by internal contradictions.
- Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman and Prashant Waikar (2019) “The People’s Action Party and the Singapore Presidency in 2017: Understanding the Contradictions between State Discourse and State Practice”, Asian Survey. doi: 10.1525/as.2019.59.2.382 – READ
Amending the Presidential System – Gillian Koh and Tan Min-Wei | The significance of voter education to the presidency
- Gillian Koh and Tan Min-Wei. “Tweaking the Singapore Presidential System”. IPS Commons (2015). – READ
Limits and Improvements to the Presidential System – Gillian Koh and Tan Min-Wei | Three limitations to the current presidency, and ways forward around.
- Gillian Koh and Tan Min-Wei. ‘Enhancing the Presidential System?’. IPS Commons (2015). – READ
The President and the Death Penalty – Shubhankar Dam | Are decisions on presidential pardons bound by Cabinet decision and subject to judicial review?
- Shubhankar Dam (2013) “Presidential Pardon in Singapore: A Comment on Yong Vui Kong v Attorney-General”, Common Law World Review. doi: 10.1350/clwr.2013.42.1.0244 – READ
REPRESENTATION AND SYMBOLISM
The President Racialised? – Cherian George | The racialised elections of 2017 was symptomatic of problems with the PAP’s approach to managing diversity.
- Cherian George (2020). “Difficult Conversations about Cultural Diversity”. In Cherian George and Donald Low, PAP v PAP: The Party’s Struggle to Adapt to a Changing Singapore. Singapore: Cherian George and Donald Low. – READ
The Debacle(s) of 2017 – Garry Rodan | The 2017 Presidential Election was indicative of a systemic failure.
- Garry Rodan (2017) “Singapore’s Elected President: A Failed Institution”, Asian Survey. doi: 10.1080/10357718.2017.1397596 – READ
Elections Department official site: Presidential Elections How-To