Presidential Elections Committee
The Presidential Elections Committee is set up by the Government of Singapore to ensure that each candidate for the office of President of Singapore has the qualifications referred to in Article 19 of the Constitution of Singapore.
The committee consists of:
- the Chairman of the Public Service Commission, who is also the Chairperson of the Presidential Elections Committee
- the Chairman of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority
- a member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, appointed by the Chairperson of that Council
- a member or former member of the Council of Presidential Advisers (but not the sitting Chairperson of that Council or a former member who vacated his seat under Article 37F(2)(a) or (c) of the Constitution), appointed by the Chairperson of that Council
- a person who is qualified to be or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court, appointed by the Chief Justice
- a person, who in the opinion of the Prime Minister has expertise and experience acquired in the private sector that is relevant to the functions of the Committee, appointed by the Prime Minister
Amount of discretionary powerEdit
Legal academic Valentine Winslow wrote that the committee has the power to reject anyone who does not have "integrity, good character, and reputation", and that this places too much discretionary power in the hands of a small group of persons, with no guarantee that they are qualified to judge others as being of integrity and good character, or are unbiased, as there is no provision for any independent election commission.
Constitutional lawyer Thio Li-ann wrote that the mechanism of selecting qualified candidates "removes the power of choice one step further away from the people, placing in the hands of an unelected group of people the power to decide who is a suitable candidate".
Decisions beyond judicial reviewEdit
Thio observed that the committee is "not under a legal duty to give reasons for their decision, which is deficient as a process".
Opacity of decisions leading to embarrassmentEdit
Winslow suggested that there is an "embarrassment of uncertainty" for a candidate seeking nomination, because they may be rejected for reasons completely unclear to them, and that "men of eminence" will not agree to be nominated if they are likely to be humiliated by rejection.
Presidential election, 2017Edit
The Presidential Elections Committee for the 2017 Singapore presidential election comprises six members. They are:
- Eddie Teo, Public Service Commission chairman
- Lim Soo Hoon, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority chairperson
- Chan Heng Chee, member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights
- Po'ad Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar, member of the Council of Presidential Advisers
- Tay Yong Kwang, a Judge of Appeal
- Peter Seah, chairman of DBS Bank
There is also a Community Committee, which will assess whether the candidate belongs to the specified racial group. This committee is headed by Timothy James de Souza, a member of the Presidential Council of Minority Rights.
Malay community sub-committeeEdit
The Malay community sub-committee, which will issue the Malay Community Certificate to candidates, comprises five members. They are:
- Imram Mohamed, former chairman of the Association of Muslim Professionals (chairperson)
- Fatimah Azimullah, advisor to the Singapore Muslim Women's Association
- Mohammad Alami Musa, president of Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore) and an inter-religious relations scholar
- Yatiman Yusof, a former senior parliamentary secretary
- Zulkifli Baharudin, non-resident ambassador to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and the executive chairman of Indo-Trans Corporation
All five were also on the Malay Community Committee that gave the green light to Malay candidates in Group Representation Constituencies in the 2015 General Election.
Presidential election, 2005Edit
The Presidential Elections Committee for the 2005 Singapore presidential election had three members:
- Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, Art. 18(2).
- Valentine S. Winslow. "The election of a president in a parliamentary system". In Lam, Peng er; Tan, Kevin (eds.). Managing Political Change in Singapore. Routledge. pp. 96–97. ISBN 9781136205187.
- Thio, Li-ann (2015). Presidency. Singapore: Institute of Policy Studies. ISBN 9789814747011.
- "Appointment of Chairman and Members of Community Committee and Sub-committees" (PDF). Elections Department Singapore. Government Gazette. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- Zhu, Melissa; Abu Baker, Jalelah (31 May 2017). "Applications for Presidential Election to open Jun 1". Channel NewsAsia. Mediacorp Pte Ltd. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- Yong, Charissa (1 June 2017). "Application for reserved presidential election opens". The Straits Times. Straits Times. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.