Tan Cheng Bock’s legal challenge on upcoming Presidential Election begins

Tan Cheng Bock’s legal challenge on upcoming Presidential Election begins

03:06
Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock's legal challenge to the basis of the upcoming Presidential Election was heard by the High Court on Thursday (Jun 29).

SINGAPORE: Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock's legal challenge to the basis of the upcoming Presidential Election was heard by the High Court on Thursday (Jun 29).

The hearing was not open to the public.

Earlier this month, the High Court accepted Dr Tan's application, which questioned the Government’s decision to reserve the upcoming Presidential election for Malay candidates.

His legal challenge follows a press conference in March, when he called for the next presidential election to be an open one.

Dr Tan's challenge means the High Court will have to consider whether a piece of legislation counting President Wee Kim Wee as the first elected President for the purposes of the upcoming reserved election was consistent with the Constitution.

Changes to the Constitution passed last November mean that if there is no President from a particular racial community for five consecutive terms, the next term will be reserved for a President from that community.

In light of these changes, the next election - to be held in September - will be reserved for Malay candidates, precluding Dr Tan from running. He has called the change "unconstitutional".

Dr Tan had announced his intention to run for President in March last year, months before it was announced the next election would be reserved for Malay candidates.

The court is expected to make its decision in a week.

Source: CNA/cy