SINGAPORE: There are around 50 public service positions that may fulfil the public sector service requirement to run in Singapore’s next presidential election, said Minister-in-charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing on Wednesday (May 10).
For potential presidential candidates looking to qualify under the private sector service requirement, there are more than 1,200 companies with average shareholders’ equity at or exceeding S$500 million, added Mr Chan, who is also the Education Minister.
He was writing in response to a parliamentary question posed by Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leong Mun Wai, who asked for the estimated number of Singaporeans qualified to run for the presidency, broken down by those who fulfil public and private sector service requirements.
Mr Chan said the Elections Department did not track the specific number of Singaporeans qualified to be elected as president.
Singapore’s next presidential election must be called by Sep 13, with incumbent Halimah Yacob’s six-year term expiring on that day.
It will be open to candidates of all races, as opposed to the reserved election in 2017 where only members of the Malay community were allowed to contest.
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”.