In a momentous political development, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, an economist of Indian descent, has emerged as the victor in Singapore’s presidential election, putting an end to a ten-year gap in competitive presidential contests. Shanmugaratnam secured a commanding 70.4 percent of the votes, defeating his two Chinese-origin rivals, Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian, who garnered 15.7 percent and 13.88 percent of the votes, respectively.
The president-elect, aged sixty-six, originally entered the political arena in 2001 and had previously served as Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister from 2011 to 2019. During his campaign, he articulated a vision for Singapore, pledging to nurture the nation’s culture and maintain its status as a “shining spot” on the global stage.
This presidential election witnessed significant civic engagement, with over 2.7 million voters participating in the process. Voting began at 8 AM when polling stations opened and concluded at 8 PM local time, reflecting a strong public interest in the electoral process.
Madam Halimah Yacob, Singapore’s eighth and first female president, is set to conclude her six-year term on September 13. Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s election ushers in a new era of presidential leadership in Singapore, marking the first contested presidential race since 2011.