Former senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam elected Singaporean president



Former senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was elected as Singapore's ninth president on Friday after garnering 70.4 percent of the total votes.

His rivals Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian received 15.72 and 13.88 percent of the votes respectively, according to an announcement by Returning Officer Tan Meng Dui.

Over 2.48 million Singaporeans voted in the presidential election.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam has been a popular politician, having scored several victories in parliamentary elections, including the biggest margin of votes in the general election in 2020 as a member of the ruling People's Action Party.

He resigned from the party earlier this year and emphasized his independence during his campaign for the presidency.

This is Singapore's third presidential election since a 1991 act gave the public the right to choose the president. Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be the country's ninth president overall.

In Singapore, the role of the president is largely ceremonial, though the office is expected to ensure checks and balances on the government.

The president holds the key to the country's large but undisclosed reserves, with veto powers over any budget or specific transaction that is likely to draw on those reserves.

The president can also veto the appointment or removal of key public officials, and direct the anti-graft bureau to investigate cases even when the prime minister disagrees.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a statement he had called to congratulate Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The prime minister said he had "assure(d) him of my government's full cooperation. Mr Tharman has also declared his intention to work closely with the government."