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Indian-origin leader Tharman Shanmugaratnam wins Singapore’s presidential election

September 2, 2023 1:08 PM IST

Singapore | Tharman Shanmugaratnam | Presidential Election

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, an economist of Indian origin, emerged victorious in Singapore’s recent Presidential election, marking the country’s first competitive presidential race since 2011.

In this election, Tharman Shanmugaratnam secured a significant mandate with 70.4% of the votes, defeating his two Chinese-origin opponents, Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian, who garnered 15.7% and 13.88% of the votes, respectively.

Congratulating Tharman Shanmugaratnam on winning the presidential election, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, “Singaporeans have chosen Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam to be our next president by a decisive margin. As head of state, he will represent us at home and abroad, and exercise custodial powers, including over the reserves and key appointments.”

“I thank the three candidates for putting themselves forward in this presidential election. I am happy that Singaporeans have been able to exercise the right to vote for our next president, and to focus on what the elected president is about. In this election, both voters and candidates have shown a greater understanding of the roles and duties of the president, which bodes well for Singapore,” Lee Hsien Loong further added.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam earlier spoke at Taman Jurong Food Centre where his supporters had gathered and thanked saying that he was “truly humbled by the strong endorsement” the people of Singapore have given him.

“I’m humbled by this vote – it is not just a vote for me, it is a vote for Singapore’s future, a future of optimism and solidarity..My campaign was one of optimism and solidarity, and I believe that’s what Singaporeans want,” Tharman Shanmugaratnam said.

Sharing a post on social media, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Tharman Shanmugaratnam and said that he looks forward to working closely with him to further strengthen the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership.

Tharman, born to Tamil ancestors within Singapore’s Indian community, which comprises roughly nine percent of the total 2.7 million Singaporean voters, stands out as one of the most highly qualified individuals. Singapore has undergone numerous developmental stages over the course of more than 50 years.

Aged 66, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, previously held the role of Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore from 2011 to 2019. His entry into politics dates back to 2001, and he has an extensive background in the public sector, having occupied various ministerial positions during his career.

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