Veteran Politician Wins Singapore Presidential Election

Posted August 27th, 2011 at 7:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Former Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan has won Singapore's presidential election after a recount of the vote gave him a razor-thin margin of victory.

Election officials said Sunday that Mr. Tan won by just 7,269 votes out of more than two million cast.

Officials ordered the recount after Saturday's vote because there was less than a percentage point difference between Mr. Tan and his top challenger, medical doctor Tan Cheng Bock.

The election was seen as a referendum on the ruling People's Action Party – PAP- which has led the city-state since 1959.

The newly-elected president was backed by most of the political establishment, while Bock is a former ruling party lawmaker who openly courted the opposition.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the PAP did not officially endorse Mr. Tan, but Mr. Lee praised him last month.

Mr. Tan said after the results were announced Sunday that he plans to work for all Singaporeans whatever their political affiliation.

Singapore's presidency is largely a ceremonial position, but Saturday's election attracted four candidates.

Current President S.R. Nathan won two 6-year terms unopposed.

Singapore's ruling PAP holds most of the political power in the country. However, its vote total in parliamentary elections in May fell to 60 percent — its lowest since being in power.