Singapore gets its first Indian-origin President in Tharman Shanmugaratnam

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New Delhi: Indian-origin economist-turned-politician Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Friday, became the first ever Indian-origin and ninth overall President of Singapore.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam won the three-way elections against Chinese-origin Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian by a margin of 70.4 to 15.7 and 13.88 per cent of votes, respectively.

The votes for the elections were cast in the span of 12 hours, which started at 8:00 a.m. local time and concluded at 8:00 p.m. local time.

Shanmugaratnam will overtake the chair from Madam Halimah Yacob, who became Singapore’s first-ever female president after winning the elections unrivalled in 2017. The recently concluded election was Singapore’s first competitive race for the top position in the country since 2011.

Sixty-Six-years-old Shanmugaratnam joined politics and held many ministerial positions; he also worked in various public sectors before serving as deputy prime minister of Singapore from 2011 to 2019.

Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong also congratulated the newly elected president on his historical victory.

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.”

He further added, “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,”

Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, also congratulated Tharman Shanmugaratnam on his victory. “Hearty congratulations @Tharman_s, on your election as the President of Singapore. I look forward to working closely with you to further strengthen the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership.” PM Modi said in a post shared by him on his social media platform X (Formerly known as Twitter) page.

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