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Singapore gets its first female president, but without an election

There has been criticism over Halimah Yacob being handed the post, with some sharing posts on social media with #NotMyPresident.

Singapore on Wednesday got its first female president, but without an election. Former Speaker Halimah Yacob took over as the head of state without a vote as the government had declared the other presidential candidates ineligible to contest, AFP reported.

Citizens of the city-state took to social media to criticise the process. Some even shared posts with #NotMyPresident, borrowing from the American trend that emerged after Donald Trump’s election as the president of the United States.

Yacob’s unusual selection followed discontent over the presidential election being reserved for the Malay minority. Authorities decided to allow candidates from only one community to contest for presidency in a bid to give more opportunities to minorities.

Ethnic Chinese dominate the city-state’s 5.5 million population.

Addressing concerns over her election, Yacob said she was “a president for everyone”. “Although there’s no election, my commitment to serve you remains the same,” she said. “Every woman can aspire to the highest office in the land when you have the courage, determination and will to work hard.”

Yacob has been an MP of the ruling People’s Action Party for nearly two decades. She resigned as a parliamentarian to run for president.

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