Halimah Yacob: Singapore's soon-to-be first female president

Halimah Yacob: Singapore's soon-to-be first female president

Halimah, who many deemed to be the ruling political party's informal candidate of choice all along, was destined to win.

"All Singaporeans are unhappy that meritocracy and electoral fairness, core Singaporean values, have been eroded to fulfil perceived political goals", writer and political commentator Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh told AFP. "My duty remains only to Singapore and Singaporeans, my duty remains only to you".

Ms Junaidah Rapieh, 42, recounted how even though Madam Halimah looked to be in a rush one time, she made the effort to greet her elderly mother and ask about her health.

Candidates also had to meet strict criteria in regards to their careers - they had to either have held a top public post, or have been a chief executive of a private company with at least $370 million in shareholders' equity.

Of the four other applicants, two were not Malays and two were not given certificates of eligibility, the elections department said earlier this week.

"It would have restored some of the lost moral authority by her winning against credible opponents through popular votes", said opposition politician Yee Jenn Jong in a blog post. The president can also authorize investigations of corruption in government.

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The local Singapore-based newspaper reported that around 1,000 unionists and supporters of the president-elect gathered in Jalan Besar, where she was declared Singapore's first woman leader and first president of the Malay race in 47 years. In Singapore, it's dubbed a "hiatus-triggered model".

Singaporeans are kicking back as their first female president is elected into office - without voting. Past Singaporean presidents include those of Eurasian, Chinese and Indian origin. "The security measures don't really inconvenience us".

The presidency is largely ceremonial but has some veto powers on the appointment of key government positions and the use of Singapore's financial reserves.

Change is afoot in Yishun Avenue 4, where Singapore's incoming President Halimah Yacob has lived for over two decades.

Some online took to Twitter to vent, with many calling her win undemocratic - as she was the only candidate qualified for the election. "Now, with this reserved presidency, we have irrefutable proof about just how stupid they think we are".

The prime minister's office said it had no comment on criticism of the election process.

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