The Singaporean people made history by electing their first female president, Madam Halimah Yacob, The Straits Times reported. She will be sworn into office on Thursday, September 14.

The local Singapore-based newspaper reported that around 1,000 unionists and supporters of the president-elect gathered in Jalan Besar, where she was declared Singapore’s first woman leader and first president of the Malay race in 47 years. Her supporters cheered for her and waved flags, delighted by the results of the election.

Yacob’s fight for the presidency

Yacob’s battle for the highest position in the land was not considered to be a tough one.

She was the only one of the three candidates who was granted eligibility to run for this year’s presidential election, Channel News Asia reported.

Moreover, her two opponents Mr. Farid Khan and Mr. Mohamed Salleh Marican had their applications rejected on Monday since both of them failed to meet requirements “to helm companies with at least SGD 500 million” taken from the equity of shareholders, the equivalent of more than $370 million, the news agency added.

The 63-year-old has made history once again as the new president, following her stint as the first female Speaker of the Parliament in 2013. She succeeded former president Tony Tan who assumed office from 2011 to August 31, 2017.

The powers of the president are shared with Singapore’s prime minister since the country follows a parliamentary form of group.

Yacob's powers are enacted only with the advice of the Cabinet or a minister under the Cabinet’s authority, the official website indicated.

Dissent in Singapore

Despite the thousands of supporters present during the announcement, many Singaporeans criticized her victory because of the disqualification of her opponents. The Straits Times reported that people called the elections “undemocratic” since her rivals were disqualified for ineligibility.

Facebook netizen Pat Eng even called the election of Yacob “a joke," writing that she was “elected without an election.” Another user, Joel Kong, used the hashtag #NotMyPresident as he aired his sentiment. Kong said that he will refer to the newly-elected female president as “President Select.”

Yacob sent a message to the people saying that although it was a “reserved election,” she vowed to become “a president for everyone-- regardless of race, language, religion or creed.” She added that her duty will always remain to the country and to its people.