Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament, did not face a vote for the largely ceremonial post after authorities said other candidates did not meet strict eligibility criteria.
She was declared Singapore’s eighth president after a “walkover” election that saw no vote after no other contenders ran for the position. She was the only candidate deemed eligible to stand in the country’s Elections Department, having held a key public position as speaker of parliament for three years.
The other two contenders, Salleh Marican and Farid Khan, were both denied eligibility, having fallen short of a constitutional rule that required any candidate from the private sector to have led a company with shareholder equity of at least 500 million Singapore dollars (372 million dollars).
Following the announcement, Yacob thanked her supporters in a speech, calling it “a proud moment for Singapore, for multiculturalism and multi-racialism.”
While some have applauded the historic moment, the election has also drawn public criticism due to what was seen as a lack of democratic process. Yacob addressed these concerns, saying “I am a president for everyone, regardless of race, language, religion or creed.”