Dr Tan Cheng Bock said today that he will be appealing the High Court’s decision to dismiss his application contesting the legitimacy of this year’s Presidential Election.
Today is the last day for Dr Tan to file an appeal, and he said he will be doing so through his lawyers.
Dr Tan’s previous application was turned down last Friday by Justice Quentin Loh, meaning PE2017 will be reserved for Malay candidates only.
He accused Deputy Attorney-General Hri Kumair Nair of hitting him “below the belt” after DAG Nair said that his motives for the application are “purely selfish and he has shown no regard for the principle of multiracial representation which Parliament intended to safeguard”.
Dr Tan had contested in PE2011 and lost to current president Dr Tony Tan by a less than 1 percent margin.
He announced his intention to run in PE2017 in March 2016, but could not meet the requirements after the government amended the Constitution in November 2016.
The amendments raised the eligibility criteria for candidates, and reserved PE2017 for Malay candidates only under new rules that if there is no president from a particular racial community for five consecutive terms, the next term will be reserved for a President from that community.
Dr Tan is contesting the counting of “five consecutive terms”.
He claims that this should start from the President Ong Teng Cheong, Singapore’s first president to win in an open election.
However, the government ruled that the President before him, Dr Wee Kim Wee, should be counted as the first elected president despite Dr Wee having been appointed to the post.
The move has caused confusion, since government records, including a letter from former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, also hail Mr Ong as Singapore’s first elected president.