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Presidential Election: Polling day set for Sept 23

SINGAPORE — Voters will go to the polls on Sept 23 to pick Singapore's eighth President, if there is more than one eligible candidate, according to the writ of election issued by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (Aug 28).

Presidential Election: Polling day set for Sept 23

Presidential hopefuls (from left) Mr Farid Khan, Madam Halimah Yacob and Mr Salleh Marican. Photos: Nuria Ling/TODAY

SINGAPORE — Voters will go to the polls on Sept 23 to pick Singapore’s eighth President, if there is more than one eligible candidate, after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (Aug 28) issued the writ of election. 

Nomination Day will fall on Sept 13 and nominations will be held at the auditorium of the People’s Association along King George’s Avenue.

Presidential hopefuls who have yet to submit their applications for a certificate of eligibility and a community certificate for the coming election will have the next five working days — till 5pm on Sept 4 — to do so.

Failure to do so with either committee will rule them out of the election.

They must also apply for a political donation certificate to the Elections Department by Sept 9, 1pm.

This year, there will also be a new form for candidates to voluntarily undertake that they will conduct their election campaign in a manner that is “dignified, decorous and consistent with the President’s position as the Head of State and the symbol of national unity”, said the Elections Department in a media release.

(Click to enlarge) The Writ of Election for the Presidential Election 2017 issued by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Nomination Day will be on Sept 13, while polling day — if more than one candidate stands nominated — is on Sept 23. Image: Facebook screencap via Lee Hsien Loong

Signed undertakings will be put up on the notice board, together with the Nomination Paper and certificates, during the proceedings on Nomination Day. Each candidate will have to pay a deposit of S$43,500, which has to be made by noon on Nomination Day.

Two of the three people who have indicated their intention to contest - Mr Farid Khan, 62, chairman of marine services provider Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific; and Mr Mohamed Salleh Marican, 67, chief executive of Second Chance Properties - have submitted their application forms last week.

The third potential candidate, former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, 62, had previously said she would submit her application forms “in due course”.

The coming Presidential Election (PE) is reserved for the Malay community, following changes to the Elected Presidency scheme passed by Parliament in November last year. Among the changes was the introduction of a mechanism that reserves an election for a particular ethnicity which has not had an elected representative for five consecutive terms. 

The Presidential Elections Committee and Community Committee will assess the applications, and inform aspiring candidates of the outcome before Nomination Day.

If there is only one eligible candidate, the Returning Officer - a post held by Energy Market Authority chief executive Ng Wai Choong - will declare him or her the elected President on Nomination Day. There will not be a poll and the candidate will start his or her term as President the next day.

However, if no one is successfully nominated, the Prime Minister will issue a fresh writ declaring an open election.

Previous Presidential Elections had been held in the last week of August. The Government had said earlier that the move to a September polling date was to avoid having the campaign period clash with National Day celebrations, and to provide for a longer time needed to assess prospective candidates.

This also means that after President Tony Tan’s six-year term expires on Thursday, an Acting President will assume office.

As provided for in the Constitution, the chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers - a position currently held by Mr J Y Pillay - will be the Acting President between Friday and till a successor is elected and assumes office.

Writing on Facebook on Monday, Mr Lee said he had previously explained why Singapore was adopting the hiatus-triggered model. “We are a multiracial country, and every citizen should know that someone of his community can become President, and does become President from time to time, and thus represent all Singaporeans,” he wrote. “I hope Singaporeans will support the candidate who will best represent their interests and aspirations, and our nation. Not just at home, but internationally too,” added Mr Lee. 

The coming election will see Singaporeans head to the ballot box to choose their first Malay president since the late Mr Yusof Ishak, who was Singapore’s first head of state post-independence to 1970.

WRIT OF ELECTION 
The writ was issued by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday for a reserved election for candidates from the Malay community. Presidential hopefuls who have yet to submit their applications for a certificate of eligibility and a community certificate for the coming election will have the next five working days — till 5pm on Monday — to do so. 

NOMINATION 
Nomination Day is on Sept 13. The nomination venue is the auditorium of the People’s Association at 9 King George’s Avenue.

POLLING 
If more than one candidate is nominated on Nomination Day, the Returning Officer will declare Sept 23 to be Polling Day. The day shall be a public holiday.

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WRIT OF ELECTION 
The writ was issued by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday for a reserved election for candidates from the Malay community. Presidential hopefuls who have yet to submit their applications for a certificate of eligibility and a community certificate for the coming election will have the next five working days — till 5pm on Monday — to do so. 

NOMINATION 
Nomination Day is on Sept 13. The nomination venue is the auditorium of the People’s Association at 9 King George’s Avenue.

POLLING 
If more than one candidate is nominated on Nomination Day, the Returning Officer will declare Sept 23 to be Polling Day. The day shall be a public holida

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