SINGAPORE: Madam Halimah Yacob was declared the President-elect on Wednesday (Sep 13) after her nomination papers were found to be in order.
She will be Singapore's first female President and the first Malay head of state in 47 years.
Mdm Halimah will be sworn in as Singapore's eighth President on Thursday at 6pm at the Istana, a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said.
“I am a President for everyone. Even though this is a reserved election, I am not a reserved President," she told supporters gathered at the nomination centre after Returning Officer Ng Wai Choong, chief executive of the Energy Market Authority, declared her President-elect.
She thanked Singaporeans and called for unity in her speech given in English and Malay.
"We need every Singaporean to stand together shoulder to shoulder... We have not reached the peak yet. The best is yet to come," she said. "I ask that we focus on the similarities that we have and not on the differences."
Mdm Halimah was accompanied by her husband Mohamed Abdullah, proposers and assentors.
She had to submit a certificate of eligibility issued by the Presidential Elections Committee, the community certificate issued by the Community Committee and a political donation certificate.
Mdm Halimah was the only Presidential hopeful among three potential candidates to qualify for the post.
Under amendments to the Constitution that came into effect in June this year, applicants had to show that they helmed a company with at least S$500 million in shareholders' equity.
Mdm Halimah meets the criteria set out for those in the public sector, having held office for at least three years as Speaker.
On Wednesday morning, supporters dressed in orange were at the People's Association headquarters at King George's Avenue to cheer her on. They blew whistles and chanted her name as she arrived at about 11.30am.
Mr K G Mogan said he arrived at around 9.30am, together with a group from the Shipbuilding, Marine Engineering and Employees’ Union.
“I was very excited to come here,” he said, as he proudly displayed an orange badge emblazoned with Mdm Halimah’s campaign logo. “Mdm Halimah will definitely be good for Singaporeans.”
“She is doing so many good things for Singaporeans, and she really supports everyone,” he added. “In Marsiling, where I live, she does her block visits very frequently, at least twice a month.”
Another supporter, Mr Christopher Pereira, was spotted carrying a figurine of Mdm Halimah, which the President-elect had signed.
“When she saw the figurine, she was very excited and she signed it for me,” said Mr Pereira, who makes and sells figurines of political figures like the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. “I told her this coming Deepavali, I would give her a figurine in a sari.”
“I am very proud that she became the first female president in Singapore, and I wish her the very best in all her endeavours.”