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Halimah Yacob elected Singapore’s first woman president without a vote

Singapore

Singapore: Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament, was declared elected as Singapore’s first woman president on Wednesday after the returning officer announced she was the sole candidate to qualify for the contest.

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, and the decision to hand her the job without a vote added to the anger.

Halimah, a member of parliament for the ruling People’s Action Party for nearly two decades before resigning to contest the presidency, tackled the doubts about the selection process in a speech to a cheering crowd after she was named president-elect.

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