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17 September, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Singaporeans hold rare protest over presidential vote

AFP
Singaporeans hold rare protest over presidential vote
A man takes part in a protest against the walkover victory of Halimah Yacob as Singapore's President at Hong Lim Park in Singapore yesterday. AFP Photo

SINGAPORE: Hundreds of Singaporeans angered by the walkover victory of their first female president held a "silent sit-in" in a park Saturday in a rare political protest denouncing the lack of an election, reports AFP.

Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament from the Malay Muslim minority, was sworn in Thursday without a vote after two potential rivals were disqualified from running.

The protest followed outrage on social media over what critics say was the engineered victory of an establishment figure. While the role is largely ceremonial, the president has veto powers on key government appointments and safeguards the country's substantial financial reserves. Social activist Gilbert Goh, who organised the protest, said it was to highlight the "sense of betrayal" Singaporeans felt after being robbed of a chance to vote in their head of state. "We are not against (the president)... We are against the system.  We are against the process against the right to exercise our democratic vote," Goh told media after the protest.

Scores of Singaporeans dressed in black milled around the park, some holding up signs calling the presidency a "(S)election", while others wore T-shirts emblazoned with the hashtag "not my president", which first gained popularity among Americans unhappy with the victory of Donald Trump.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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