Tharman wins Singapore presidential election with a landslide of 70 per cent votes

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the Indian-origin former Senior Minister of Singapore, has been elected the new President of Singapore with a landslide margin of more than 70 per cent of the votes cast in the September 1 election.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam has campaigned extensively for this election with his wife Jane. Photo courtesy: Instagram/

The decisive result of Singapore’s first contested presidential polls since 2011 was announced by Returning Officer Tan Meng Dui at past midnight, Singapore time.

Tharman, 66, got 70.4 per cent (1,746,427 votes) of the 2.48 million votes cast, while his Chinese-origin rivals Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian received 15.72 per cent and 13.88 per cent, respectively, said the Elections Department. This victory makes Tharman the third Indian-origin President of Singapore.

Congratulating the winner, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, “Singaporeans have chosen Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam to be our next president by a decisive margin. As head of state, he will represent us at home and abroad, and exercise custodial powers, including over the reserves and key appointments.”

Lee noted that in the September 1 election, both voters and candidates showed a greater understanding of the roles and duties of the president, which bodes well for Singapore. “I have every confidence that he will carry out his duties as president with distinction,” said the prime minister.

Earlier, speaking at Taman Jurong Food Centre, where his supporters had gathered, Tharman said that he was “truly humbled by the strong endorsement” Singaporeans had given him.

“I’m humbled by this vote — it is not just a vote for me, it is a vote for Singapore’s future, a future of optimism and solidarity. That’s what it really is. My campaign was one of optimism and solidarity, and I believe that’s what Singaporeans want,” he said.

“I will honour the trust that Singaporeans have placed in me and respect all Singaporeans including those who did not vote for me,” he added.

Prime Minister Lee’s People’s Action Party (PAP) had backed Tharman in the election. Lee said that he congratulated Tharman on his resounding victory to assure him of his government’s full co-operation. “Tharman has also declared his intention to work closely with the government. As head of state, the president has to be a unifying figure that all Singaporeans can look up to and identify with,” said the prime minister.

Tharman had formally launched his presidential campaign in July with a pledge to evolve the culture of Singapore to keep it a “shining spot” in the world.

He joined politics in 2001 and served in the public sector and in ministerial positions with the ruling PAP for over two decades.

Incumbent President Halimah Yacob’s six-year term ends on September 13. She is the country’s eighth and first female president.

Singapore, in the past, had two Indian-origin presidents. Sellapan Ramanathan, popularly known as SR Nathan, a Singaporean politician and civil servant of Tamil descent, served as the President of Singapore from 1999 to 2011.

Chengara Veetil Devan Nair, better known as Devan Nair, served as the third president of Singapore from 1981 until his resignation in 1985. Born in 1923 in Malacca, Malaysia, Nair was the son of a rubber plantation clerk, who was originally from Thalassery, Kerala.

Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India – Writer

The Press Trust of India Ltd., commonly known as PTI, is the largest news agency in India. It is headquartered in New Delhi and is a nonprofit cooperative among more than 500 Indian newspapers. It has over 500 full-time employees as of 1 January 2022, including about 400 journalists.


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