Friday, January 19, 2018 | ePaper

Singapore gets first female president without a vote

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AFP, Singapore :
 An establishment stalwart was named Singapore's first female president Wednesday but the milestone was overshadowed by criticism her selection was undemocratic after she was handed the job without a vote.
Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament from the Muslim Malay minority, did not have to face an election for the largely ceremonial post originally due this month after authorities decided her rivals did not meet strict eligibility criteria.It was not the first time in the affluent city-state-which is tightly controlled and has been ruled by the same party for decades-that the government has disqualified candidates for the presidency, making an election unnecessary.
But there was already unease about the process as it was the first time that the presidency had been reserved for a particular ethnic group, in this case the Malay community.

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