Following a hotly-contested Presidential Election (PE) in 2011 and recent changes made to the scheme to elect Singapore’s Head of State, the polls to be held later this year to choose a successor to President Tony Tan will be closely watched.
Add to that the fact that Singapore will hold its first reserved election for a minority race, under the spectre of an uncertain economy — which could bring candidates’ financial acumen into sharper focus — and the coming PE could rank as one of the most significant so far.
Singapore Management University law lecturer Eugene Tan said: “If the global economy takes a beating in the lead-up to PE 2017, then the spotlight would shift to a focus on which candidate has the requisite expertise and experience, would better inspire confidence on being able to work closely with the People’s Action Party (PAP) Government to help Singapore overcome the economic challenges, including drawing down on our past reserves if the situation warrants it.”
…Previous PEs were typically conducted towards the end of each six-year term. Most of the analysts expect the same, but a few felt that the election could be held earlier, possibly as soon as May — not long after the presentation of the Budget, which creates a “feel-good atmosphere”, as S Rajaratnam School of International Studies Associate Professor Alan Chong puts it.
…The previous PE in 2011 — with four candidates — was the most keenly contested. “That’s the nature of (politics) in Singapore today … We (have entered) into the era of a politically divided society and I think people will take any opportunity, if they are eligible, to contest,” said Dr Chong.
Last updated on 03/01/2017