SINGAPORE - Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be running for President in the upcoming election, stepping aside after 22 years in politics.
“I wish to inform you that I have decided to put myself forward as a candidate in the forthcoming presidential election. I hence wish to retire from politics and all my positions in Government,” he said in a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday. PM Lee is also secretary-general of the People’s Action Party.
Mr Tharman also stated his intention to resign from the party.
In a reply letter, PM Lee accepted his resignation and thanked him for his “distinguished service to Singapore”.
Mr Tharman’s announcement comes after incumbent President Halimah Yacob said on May 29 that she would not be running for a second term.
The election has to be called before the end of Madam Halimah’s six-year term, which expires on Sept 13.
Mr Tharman, 66, is the first potential candidate to throw his hat in the ring, as no other presidential hopeful has made their intentions public.
He satisfies the public service requirement for eligibility under the law, due to his ministerial posts.
Under the public sector service requirements laid down in the Constitution, presidential candidates must have held office - for at least three years - as a minister, chief justice, Speaker, attorney-general, Public Service Commission chairman, auditor-general, accountant-general, or permanent secretary, among others.
Mr Tharman was first elected into Parliament...