Halimah Yacob, Singapore President
Halimah Yacob, Singapore President

Singapore named a former speaker of parliament as the multicultural city-state's first woman president on Wednesday while critics expressed dismay that other candidates were disqualified and the election went uncontested.

Aiming to strengthen a sense of inclusivity, Singapore had decreed the presidency, a largely ceremonial six-year post, would be reserved for candidates from the minority Malay community this time. The returning officer declared Halimah Yacob, 63, elected on Wednesday after nominations closed. Of the four other applicants, two were not Malays and two were not qualified to contest, the elections department said on Monday.

Halimah had automatically qualified because she held a senior public post for over three years. If the election had been held, all citizens would have been eligible to vote. Several critics went online to protest against the stringent eligibility rules. The prime minister's office said it had no comment on criticism of the election process.

3 Number of years Halimah Yacob held a senior public post