Former Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam to Run in Singapore’s Presidential Election.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, an Indian-origin former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, has announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election. The 66-year-old politician, known for his extensive experience in finance and government, intends to step away from active politics after 22 years. Tharman’s decision to run for president marks a significant transition in his career and reflects his desire to serve Singapore in a role that transcends politics.

Tharman’s Background and Career 

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, an economics graduate, has held various key positions in Singapore’s government. He served as the Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) from 2011 and held roles such as Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister, and Education Minister. Tharman’s contributions to the nation’s economic policies and global financial governance have earned him recognition both domestically and internationally. His decision to run for president comes as he seeks to leverage his experience and unite Singaporeans from diverse backgrounds, representing their interests both at home and on the international stage.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam at a G20 meeting in Germany in 2017. (Image Source: Reuters)

Presidential Election and Role

Singapore’s presidential election, scheduled to take place by September 13, will be the first since 2011. The president’s role in Singapore is primarily ceremonial, involving the reception of foreign dignitaries and officiating at state functions. Additionally, the president plays a crucial part in the approval of the government’s use of monetary reserves. Tharman’s bid for the presidency highlights his aspiration to serve Singapore in a non-partisan capacity, representing the unity of Singaporeans across different races, religions, social backgrounds, and political affiliations.

Tharman’s Decision and Prime Minister’s Response

Tharman Shanmugaratnam expressed his intention to run for president in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In the letter, Tharman mentioned that he plans to retire from politics and resign from his positions within the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP). He believes that he can best serve Singapore by taking on a role that transcends politics and fosters unity amidst a diverse population. Prime Minister Lee acknowledged Tharman’s decision and commended his long-standing dedication to public service. Lee expressed confidence in Tharman’s ability to carry out the duties of the president meticulously, utilizing his international stature and experience to represent Singapore’s interests both domestically and abroad. 

Tharman’s Candidacy and National Expectations

Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s entry into the presidential race has generated significant interest among Singaporeans. Many citizens view him as a capable and respected leader, with his experience in economics and global financial governance earning him a strong reputation. Singaporeans anticipate that Tharman’s presidency would bring a unifying presence, representing the nation’s diverse population and advocating for their interests on the international stage. As the campaign for the presidency unfolds, Singaporeans will closely watch the candidates vying to succeed President Halimah Yacob.

Praneetha Bandaru is a student of journalism, psychology, and English at CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru.

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