Singapore Parliament Speaker Halimah Yacob resigned on Monday in a bid for the presidential office in the election scheduled for next month, making her the first woman to do so in the country’s history. Yacob said on her Facebook page that she had informed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a letter of her decision to quit as a member of Parliament and member of the ruling People’s Action Party, reports Efe news.
This year’s presidential election is reserved for candidates of Malay ethnicity, according to laws approved in 2016 with the aim of maintaining the multicultural nature of Singaporean society.
If there is no President from a particular ethnic community — Chinese, Malay, Indian — for five consecutive terms, the next election is reserved for candidates from that community.
The last Malay origin person to hold the office was the country’s first president, Yusof Ishak, who served from 1965 to 1970.
Yacob, 62, has been in public service for 40 years and, in January 2013, became the first woman to occupy the position of Parliament Speaker.