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High Court dismisses Tan Cheng Bock’s constitutional challenge

He can still file an appeal.

Belmont Lay | July 7, 2017 @ 03:23 pm

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Presidential hopeful Tan Cheng Bock’s constitutional challenge has been dismissed by the High Court.

Justice Quentin Loh’s decision on Friday, July 7, means the legitimacy of the upcoming Malay-only Presidential Election (PE) has been upheld where only Malay candidates are eligible to stand.

The PE is due in September 2017.

However, this outcome means that Tan can still lodge an appeal before exhausting all avenues.

In May, Tan called for the upcoming PE to be an “open” one.

He filed an application at the High Court in the same month to challenge the government’s decision to call a reserved election.

A reserved election is for a candidate from a particular racial community to stand, if there has not been a president from that particular racial community for five consecutive terms.

Tan had argued that PE2017 would not be a reserved one as President Ong Teng Cheong, who took over from President Wee, is Singapore’s first properly, popularly elected President.

According to Channel News Asia, the Attorney-General’s Chambers had argued in court documents that Tan filing his application to take on the government was “entirely self-serving”:

“He is advancing a strained interpretation of the Constitution so that he can apply to stand as a candidate in the coming Presidential elections. His motives are purely selfish and he has shown no regard for the principle of multiracial representation which Parliament intended to safeguard through (recent amendments to the Constitution).”

Court documents obtained by CNA were explained last night, a day before Friday’s ruling:

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