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Singapore President Nathan not to seek third term

07-01-2011 19:21 BJT

SINGAPORE, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Singapore President S R Nathan announced on Friday that he had decided not to seek a third term in office in the upcoming presidential election.

Nathan, who turns 87 in a few days, said he does not believe he can undertake indefinitely the heavy responsibilities and physical demands of the position of the head of state.

The presidential election is expected by Aug. 31 this year. Candidates who have announced their intention to run include former deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan and former lawmaker Tan Cheng Bok.

Nathan has been the president over the past 12 years, a position that is largely ceremonial.

"Over the past 12 years, I have tried to do my best as Head of State in all my duties, whether it be constitutional, ceremonial or community-related," he said in a statement on Friday.

"I have gained new insights into the lives of our people in all walks of life - the dispossessed, disabled, and impoverished as well as those able to enjoy the fruits of our economic progress," he said. "I have sought public support for various social causes, benefitting the less fortunate."

Nathan said Singapore faces a future in which the challenges to its leaders will be different from those in the past but every bit as substantial.

Whether it is in the office of the president or in the executive arm of the government, the country needs people of strong character and vision who resist populist pressures and the temptation to sacrifice the long-term interests of the nation in response to those who merely snipe without having to take responsibility, he said.




Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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