Incumbent Singaporean President Halimah Yacob no longer wishes to run in the upcoming September elections, giving opportunities to aspirants. Harvey Norman Ossia founder, George Goh, is one of those hopefuls to run the country.
Recognising George Goh, Founder of Harvey Norman Ossia
George Goh worked as a non-resident Ambassador to Morocco. He announced his intention to be one of the prospective contenders for the Presidential Election following Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam. The 63-year-old Ossia International chairman brought Harvey Norman to Asia, an Australian electronics store, and will run as an independent candidate.
“He has no political party affiliations – past or present. He has no political baggage. He was never in the public sector. He is an entrepreneur who started working at the age of 16, and has since built a business empire spanning 14 countries,” according to his media team.
Running for President
In 2017, Goh decided to run for president following the projection of the eligibility requirement for private sector candidates. It includes leading corporations with at least S$100 million in paid capital and those corporations with at least US$500 million in share equity.
Goh was anxious that the stricter conditions might result in another customary election. Such an example was the case of President Madam Halimah Yacob (former Speaker of Parliament), who won in the 2017 presidential race. She became Singapore’s first female president and Malay president.
He has the financial and technical skills to review the government’s books. Likewise, he has significant managerial and leadership proficiency, obtained locally and abroad. He doubted if Tharman was the appropriate man to rule the country. The latter has a close affiliation with the ruling political party.
Date of Presidential Election in Singapore
According to the law, when the president’s office becomes vacant before the existing term expires, a Presidential Election must take place within six months. Else, the election must be declared not earlier than three months before the present term expires.
There are instances when there’s no elected president during the expiration of the outgoing president’s term. When this happens, an acting president will assume the responsibility until there’s a new elected president to assume office. The acting president could be the chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers or the Speaker of the Parliament.
President Halimah Yacob’s current term will expire on Sept. 13, 2023. It means that the upcoming presidential election might be anytime soon. It could be from June 13, 2023, but it is not necessarily to be held on Sept. 13, 2023.
“In 2017, Minister Chan Chun Sing said that the period during which the acting President shall exercise the functions of the office of President should not exceed one month. In view of the above, the upcoming Presidential Election may be held at any time from Jun. 13, 2023, and if it has not been held by the expiration of the term of the incumbent president, it should be held shortly thereafter,” according to the response Elections Department (ELD) to media queries.
Starting today (June 13, 2023), candidates can start working on their Application for the Certificate of Eligibility and submission of community declarations for the 2023 Presidential Election.
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