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4 candidates given go-ahead to run for president in Singapore

(Xinhua)

08:44, August 12, 2011

SINGAPORE, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Four of the six candidates that had submitted forms are qualified to run for president in an upcoming election in Singapore this year, the presidential elections committee announced on Thursday.

They were issued certificates of eligibility for the presidential election with the polls scheduled for Aug. 27.

The qualified candidates are Tan Kin Lian, Tony Tan, Tan Cheng Bock and Tan Jee Say. The committee said all the four are men of integrity, good character and reputation.

The president is largely ceremonial in Singapore. The candidates should have the experience as a minister, chief of justice or some other similar positions, or have three years of experience as a chairman or chief executive officer of a statutory board or company with a paid-up capital of at least 100 million Singapore dollars (82.6 million U.S. dollars), or having served in a similar capacity.

The other two candidates Ooi Boon Ewe and Andrew Kuan were deemed not eligible.

The last presidential polls in Singapore were held in 1993. The incumbent President S R Nathan, 87, won the last two presidential elections without a contest. He has said he was not seeking a third term.

Among the four qualified candidates, Tony Tan, 71, was the obvious forerunner.

He was deputy prime minister from 1995 to 2005. He joined politics in 1979 and led ministries such as education, finance, trade and industry as well as health before leaving the cabinet to head the OCBC Bank between 1991 and 1995.

He was most recently deputy chairman and executive director of sovereign wealth fund the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and chairman of Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes the leading newspapers Lianhe Zaobao and the Straits Times.

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