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President Halimah Yacob will not stand for re-election in 2023 poll

Madam Halimah also expressed gratitude to all Singaporeans for their trust, understanding and kindness during her tenure.

05:51 Min
President Halimah Yacob announced on Monday (May 29) that she will not be running for a second term in the upcoming election this year. Sherlyn Seah has more.

SINGAPORE: President Halimah Yacob announced on Monday (May 29) that she will not be running for a second term in the upcoming election this year. 

"In a few months’ time, the Presidential Election will be held. After very careful consideration, I have decided not to stand for re-election.

"It has been a great honour and privilege to serve as the eighth President of Singapore for the past six years. The experience has been most inspiring and, at the same time, humbling," she said in a statement.

The 68-year-old added that she was aware of the "tremendous responsibilities" of the presidency when she took office in 2017. Her term ends on Sep 13 this year.

"I have tried my best to fulfil them. My aim was to help create a more caring and compassionate society. I am glad that I was never alone in this journey. I was supported by many Singaporeans who shared strongly in this belief.

"Working together, we strengthened the voices of our communities and uplifted those who are most in need, particularly the disadvantaged and vulnerable among us."

Madam Halimah said that the presidency was the highest office in Singapore and a key institution in its democracy. 

"It unifies our nation by embodying our shared values and aspirations as a people. The President has significant constitutional, ceremonial, and community-related duties, and holds the second key to our reserves, and to key appointments in the Public Service.

"The unifying role of the Presidency, working closely together with the government to safeguard Singapore's future, has always been critical to our nation's success, and will be even more important going forward, as we find our way in a troubled and uncertain world," she added. 

Mdm Halimah said that she has been fortunate to be given the chance to serve all Singaporeans regardless of race, language, or social standing as the President of Singapore.

"I am grateful to all Singaporeans for their trust, understanding and kindness during my tenure, and to the many community, social and business organisations, who have inspired me with their conviction and enthusiasm to build a better Singapore."

She added that she will "forever cherish" the fond memories of the people she met, and the experiences acquired during her term.

"These will inspire me to continue contributing to our society and nation in other ways for as long as I am able to. I would also like to thank my husband and family for their unstinting support throughout my presidency."

Singapore's next Presidential Election will be open to candidates of all races. Only members of the Malay community were allowed to contest the reserved election in 2017.


Mdm Halimah was sworn in on Sep 14, 2017 at the Istana. She is Singapore's first Malay president since Yusof Ishak 47 years ago, and also the first woman to be President.

The 2017 election was reserved for Malay candidates, as the community had not had a member elected as president in the past five terms. Mdm Halimah was the only candidate to be issued a Certificate of Eligibility.

Constitutional amendments were passed in November 2016, mandating the reservation of the elected presidency for candidates from a particular racial group if there had not been a president from that group in the five most recent presidential terms.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mdm Halimah approved the government's draws on past reserves – S$52 billion (US$38.4 billion) in the financial year of 2020, S$11 billion in FY2021 and S$6 billion in FY2022.

Her political career started in 2001, when she became a Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC. Her final and fourth term as an MP was in Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.

In 2013, Mdm Halimah was elected Speaker of Parliament, the first woman to hold that position. 

She also served in the National Trades Union Congress for 33 years. During that time, she held various positions, including deputy secretary general. 

As President, she undertook official visits to various countries, including Malaysia, China and South Korea, with the aim of deepening bilateral ties.

Mdm Halimah has been actively involved in various charitable initiatives and supported numerous causes, such as the President's Challenge, an annual nationwide campaign that aims to raise funds and promote volunteerism for various organisations in Singapore.

She is a patron to more than 40 charitable and community organisations. She also championed women's issues and was inducted into the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame in 2014.


A Presidential Elections Committee - made up of members such as chairpersons of the Public Service Commission and Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority - determines whether candidates are eligible to run.

Under the public sector service requirements laid out in Singapore's Constitution, presidential candidates must have held office - for at least three years - as a minister, chief justice, Speaker of the House, attorney-general or permanent secretary among others.

Chief executives of key statutory boards or government-owned companies like Temasek also qualify.

Private sector candidates must have served for at least three years as chief executive of a company with an average of S$500 million in shareholders' equity.

To run for president, potential candidates must also satisfy the committee that they are people “of integrity, good character and reputation”. 

On May 10, Minister-in-charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing said that there are about 50 public service positions that may fulfil the public sector service requirement to run in Singapore's next Presidential Election.

Source: CNA/cm/zl


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