Singaporean presidential election, 2005

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Singaporean presidential election, 2005
1999 ←
17 August 2005 → 2011

  President of Singapore SR Nathan.jpg
Nominee S.R. Nathan
Party Independent
Popular vote Uncontested

President before election

S.R. Nathan

Elected President

S.R. Nathan

Coat of arms of Singapore (blazon).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
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Singapore in 2005 edit

The Singaporean presidential election of 2005 was held to elect the President of Singapore. The incumbent S. R. Nathan's first term was to end on 31 August 2005. The Writ of Election declared 17 August to be Nomination Day, and 27 August would have been declared Polling Day if more than one candidate were to stand nominated on Nomination Day.

After considering the candidates' applications, the Presidential Elections Committee issued a Certificate of Eligibility to Nathan, but declined to do so for the other candidates.[1] On Nomination Day, Nathan was the only candidate to stand nominated. He was re-elected, and was sworn-in for his second term of office on 1 September 2005.


21 application forms for the Certificate of Eligibility required to contest were collected, and forms were submitted by four candidates.

The applications were reviewed by the Presidential Elections Committee, which consisted of:

The Returning Officer was Tan Boon Huat, the Chief Executive Director of the People's Association.


  • S R Nathan,6th President of the Republic of Singapore

Declared ineligible[edit]

  • Kuan Yoke Loon Andrew, former chief financial officer of Jurong Town Corporation (JTC). Independent media in Singapore widely speculated that the PAP government was not prepared for Kuan's candidacy,[2] with the Think Centre NGO accusing the state media of "badmouthing" him.[3]
On 9 August, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for all candidates to be open about their records, so that Singaporeans could make an informed judgment on them. He also encouraged Andrew Kuan's former employers to come forward, speak freely and tell Singaporeans what they knew about him.[4]
On 11 August, Kuan's former employer, JTC called a news conference to provide details on the circumstances leading to Kuan's resignation in July 2004. Chong Lit Cheong, chief executive officer of JTC said that Andrew Kuan's work at JTC had been unsatisfactory since his first year there and he had been asked to resign twice in 2003 and 2004. No details as to how his work was unsatisfactory were provided, other than a note that no fraud or other crime was involved, and he needed "quite a fair bit of hand holding". In reply, Kuan noted that he had worked at JTC Corporation for 37 months, which had extended his contract several times, and he had been given performance bonuses and a raise during this period. Another company, Hyflux, also publicly criticised Kuan.[5]
Later, Kuan was disqualified by the Presidential Elections Committee for failing to meet the criteria for running for president. The committee said Kuan's seniority and responsibility as JTC's chief financial officer were not comparable to those required by the Constitution. A presidential candidate is required to have had experience as the chairman or CEO of a statutory board, or of a company with a paid-up capital of at least $100 million (Singaporean dollars).
  • Ooi Boon Ewe, real estate executive. His application for the Certificate of Eligibility was rejected by the Presidential Elections Committee due to his lack of experience and ability required by the Constitution.[1]
  • Ramachandran Govindasamy Naidu. His application for the Certificate of Eligibility was rejected by the Presidential Elections Committee due to his lack of experience and ability required by the Constitution.[1]


e • d Summary of the 17 August 2005 Singapore presidential election results
Candidate Votes
S. R. Nathan Without ballot

Media coverage and public opinion[edit]

The unopposed nature of President Nathan's candidacy has sparked debates in Singapore about the country's political system, where no candidate was judged eligible to run against a candidate endorsed by the People's Action Party (PAP) government.[citation needed] However, there was little media coverage given to this debate and no polls been conducted on the public opinion regarding this matter.

On the other hand, there are consistent endorsement of Presidential Elections Committee's decision by political, trade union and business organisations. There are little media coverage on opposing views or interviews with rejected candidates.[citation needed]

A factor contributing to the lack of eligible candidate is the stringent requirement placed on the person who can be elected as President, as spelled out in the Constitution of Singapore. There are only a few hundred people in the country who can be qualified and many of whom are in the rank-and-file of the People's Action Party and therefore unlikely to challenge the candidate endorsed by the PAP.[citation needed]

Several commentators felt that the presidency had been undermined as an institution, and this sentiment was expressed in blogs [1][2][3] and in op-eds published in Today [4][5], a free newspaper. In contrast, Singapore's national newspaper, The Straits Times [6], and Channel News Asia [7] had come out firmly to back Nathan on his re-election as Singapore's President.


External links[edit]