Workers' Party Chairman Sylvia Lim re-files adjournment motion on the Elected Presidency for Oct. 2

Third time lucky?

Sulaiman Daud | September 19, 2017, 04:03 PM

One can't accuse the Workers' Party of giving up easily.

The WP announced in a Facebook post on Sep. 19 that WP Chairman and Aljunied GRC MP Sylvia Lim has re-filed the adjournment motion on the Reserved Presidential Election for the session of Parliament on Oct. 2.

Previously, she did not get to speak

Previously, we reported that Lim filed an adjournment motion for the Parliament session on Sep. 11.

The WP wanted to government to clarify whether the count on triggering the reserved Presidency (from either President Wee Kim Wee or President Ong Teng Cheong's terms in office) was a policy decision or a legal question.

However as it turned out, Sylvia Lim did not get to discuss this issue in Parliament on Sep. 11.

Two other motions were filed for the same session, by PAP MPs Murali Pillai and Vikram Nair. All three motions went to a ballot, and Lim's was not selected.


The count determining a reserved Presidential election

Following the amendments made to the Constitution in 2016 and the introduction of the hiatus-triggered Reserved Presidency, it was decided that the count of five terms should start with President Wee Kim Wee. Wee was in office when the Elected Presidency took effect in 1991.

2011 Presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock filed a legal challenge, asserting that the count should start with President Ong Teng Cheong instead, who was Singapore's first popularly elected President. If this won out, then the 2017 Presidential election would not need to be reserved for a Malay candidate.

However in July 2017, Singapore's High Court ruled that Parliament was free to begin the count with President Wee, thereby necessitating a Reserved Presidential election in 2017.

Tan appealed against this decision, but the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal and upheld the High Court's ruling.

The Presidential election took place on Sep. 13, with former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob winning in a walkover as the only candidate who qualified under the new criteria.

It remains to be seen if other motions will be filed for the same session on Oct. 2.

If other motions are forthcoming, the WP will have to face the ballot box once more to find out if they will get to speak about the issue.

Related stories:

Workers’ Party MP Sylvia Lim will not get to speak on the reserved Presidential election in Parliament after all

WP Chairman Sylvia Lim files motion in Parliament to debate decision to count Elected Presidency from Wee Kim Wee

Court dismisses Tan Cheng Bock’s appeal over upcoming Presidential Election

Top image via Workers' Party website and Facebook page.