SINGAPORE: The Presidential Election has been set for Sep 23 if more than one person qualifies to run for the position.
This was announced by the Elections Department on Monday (Aug 28), after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong issued a writ of election.
Nomination Day will be on Sep 13, at the People's Association headquarters at 9 King George's Avenue.
If there is only one eligible candidate, he or she will start the presidential term on the working day after Nomination Day.
Following changes to the Elected Presidency, this year’s election has been reserved for candidates from the Malay community.
Three potential candidates have declared their interest to contest the election – businessman Mohamed Salleh Marican, Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific chairman Farid Khan and former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob.
All three said they look forward to the process of contesting next month's election.
With the writ of election issued, the presidential hopefuls must submit their applications within five days, and committees assessing their applications will have at least 10 days after the writ to do so.
So far, Mr Marican and Mr Farid have submitted their papers to the Elections Department.
Apart from the usual Certificate of Eligibility and Political Donation Certificate, interested parties also have to submit a Community Declaration form to the newly established Community Committee. This is to certify that the prospective candidate belongs to the community which the election has been reserved for.
On Nomination Day, a prospective candidate must complete the nomination paper, which must be signed by a proposer, seconder and at least four assentors whose names appear in the current registers of electors, said the Elections Department.
If more than one candidate stands nominated, the Returning Officer will then declare Sep 23, a Saturday, to be Polling Day. It will be a public holiday.
In a Facebook post on Monday, PM Lee said: "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.
"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."
President Tony Tan Keng Yam's term expires on Aug 31, after which an Acting President will assume the office until Dr Tan's successor is elected.
Under the constitution, the Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers - a position currently held by Mr J Y Pillay - will be Acting President.
HELICOPTER, SHIP AMONG APPROVED SYMBOLS FOR CANDIDATES
A helicopter, a violin, a ship and a pair of binoculars are among the approved symbols candidates can use to represent themselves at the upcoming election.
The symbol selected by the candidate will be printed opposite his or her name on the ballot paper.
Eight symbols, approved by Returning Officer Ng Wai Choong, were published in the Government Gazette on Monday.
Candidates can also request to use their own symbol, which has to be approved by the Returning Officer.
They will need to settle their symbol of choice before 12.30pm on Nomination Day, if the election is contested.