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     FrontPage Edition: Sat 13 August 2005

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Presidential Election: Only S R Nathan qualifies

 

 
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS COMMITTEE ON APPLICATIONS FOR CERTIFICATES OF ELIGIBILITY
The President of the Republic of Singapore is the post of highest honour and responsibility. He is vested with the custodial powers to protect the country¨s financial reserves against a profligate government and has veto powers over key appointments.
As Head of State, the President must be a person of integrity, good character and reputation. He must also have the experience and ability to effectively discharge the functions and duties of the office.
For this reason, the process to certify candidates for election to the office of the President is rigorous.
The Constitution of the Republic of Singapore provides for the Presidential Elections Committee to scrutinise aspiring candidates to ensure that they have the necessary credentials to be elected to the office. The Constitution requires the prospective candidate:

a. to satisfy the Committee that he is a person of integrity, good character and reputation; and

b. when he applies for qualification under Article 19(2)(g)(iv) of the Constitution, to satisfy the Committee that he, having held office for a period of not less than 3 years in such position of seniority and responsibility in such organisation or department in the public or private sector as described in Article 19(2)(g)(iv) of the Constitution, has such experience and ability in administering and managing financial affairs as to enable him to carry out effectively the functions and duties of the office of the President.

The Presidential Elections Act requires a candidate to apply to the Committee for a Certificate of Eligibility. Extracts of Article 19 of the Constitution and section 8 of the Presidential Elections Act are attached.
APPLICATIONS RECEIVED
At the close of applications on 6 August 2005, the Presidential Elections Committee received 4 applications in total. The applicants were:

a. Mr Kuan Yoke Loon, Andrew;

a. Mr Ramachandran Govindasamy Naidu;

b. Mr S R Nathan; and

c. Mr Ooi Boon Ewe.

The Committee met on 12 Aug 05 and deliberated on each application.
CERTIFICATE ISSUED
The Committee issued only one certificate of eligibility on 13 August 2005. Mr S R Nathan is the incumbent President of the Republic of Singapore. He has all the credentials for the office of the President and is well regarded and respected for his public service.
The Committee considered Mr Nathan as a man of integrity, good character and reputation. He did not apply for qualification under Article 19(2)(g)(iv). Mr S R Nathan has been issued with the Certificate of Eligibility.
UNSUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS
Mr Ramachandran Govindasamy Naidu and Mr Ooi Boon Ewe did not satisfy the Presidential Elections Committee that they had the prerequisite experience and ability to effectively carry out the functions and duties of the office of the President.

a. Ramachandran Govindasamy Naidu. He was employed under the Commonwealth Forces from 1946 to 1987. He retired from service as a Senior Store Keeper.

b. Ooi Boon Ewe. He claimed to be the sole proprietor of a realty business. The licence for the business had, however, expired at the time of his application for a Certificate of Eligibility.

Their career history obviously showed that they did not hold any similar or comparable position of seniority and responsibility in any other organisation or department of equivalent size or complexity in the public or private sector as those mentioned in the Constitution.
The Committee was further of the opinion that they could not have the experience and ability in administering and managing financial affairs as to effectively discharge the duties and responsibilities of the office of the President.
As for Mr Andrew Kuan, the former Group Chief Financial Officer of JTC, the Committee assessed the seniority and responsibility of that position as being not comparable to those mentioned in the Constitution and he therefore could not have the experience and ability in administering and managing financial affairs as to effectively discharge the functions and duties of the office of President.
All the three applicants have been formally notified that they have been unsuccessful in their applications for the COE.

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS COMMITTEE

13 AUGUST 2005

Source: www.gov.sg Press Release 13 Aug 2005

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