Former Singapore deputy prime minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was elected president Friday, according to official results, in the city-state’s first contested vote for the largely ceremonial position in more than a decade.
The Elections Department declared the 66-year-old economist as the winner over two rival candidates after securing 70.4% of ballots cast.
Incumbent President Halimah Yacob’s six-year term will end on September 13. The elected president serves a six-year term.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulated Tharman Shanmugaratnam on winning the presidential election.
Lee Hsien Loong said, “Singaporeans have chosen Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam to be our next president by a decisive margin. As head of state, he will represent us at home and abroad, and exercise custodial powers, including over the reserves and key appointments.”
The president-elect Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who joined politics in 2001, has launched his campaign for the polls in July and had promised the country to evolve the country’s culture to keep it a “shining spot” in the world.
Sixty-six-year-old Tharman Shanmugaratnam had served as Singapore’s Deputy prime minister from 2011 to 2019. He joined politics in 2001. He has also worked in the public sector and held ministerial positions.
Over 2.7 million voters cast their ballots. The voters started casting their ballots at 8 AM when polling stations opened. The polls closed at 8 PM (local time).
Born on February 25, 1957, in Singapore, Tharman is a multi-generational Singaporean of Tamil ancestry from the 19th century. One of three children, Tharman is the son of Emeritus Professor K. Shanmugaratnam, a medical scientist known as the “father of pathology in Singapore”, who founded the Singapore Cancer Registry and led a number of international organisations related to cancer research and pathology.