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World > Asia > Singapore > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Singapore - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT
According to the constitution, as amended in 1965, Singapore is a republic with a parliamentary system of government. Political authority rests with the prime minister and the cabinet. The prime minister is the leader of the political party or coalition of parties having the majority of seats in Parliament. The president, who is chief of state, previously exercised only ceremonial duties. As a result of 1991 constitutional changes, the president is now elected and exercises expanded powers over legislative appointments, government budgetary affairs, and internal security matters.

The unicameral Parliament currently consists of 84 members elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage, and up to nine 'nominated' members of Parliament. A constitutional provision assures at least three opposition members, even if fewer than three actually are elected. A 'nonconstituency' seat held by the opposition under this provision since 1997 was again filled after the last election held on May 6, 2006. In the May 2006 general election, the governing People's Action Party (PAP) won 82 of the 84 seats. The president appoints nominated members of Parliament from among nominations by a special select committee. Nominated members of Parliament (NMP's) enjoy the same privileges as members of Parliament but cannot vote on constitutional matters or expenditures of funds. The maximum term of anyone in Parliament is 5 years. NMP's serve for two and a half year terms. Voting has been compulsory since 1959.

Judicial power is vested in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. The High Court exercises original criminal and civil jurisdiction in serious cases as well as appellate jurisdiction from subordinate courts. Its chief justice, senior judge, and twelve judges are appointed by the president. Appeals from the High Court are heard by the Court of Appeal. The right of appeal to the Privy Council in London was abolished effective April 1994.

Principal Government Officials
President--S.R. NATHAN
Prime Minister--LEE Hsien Loong
Senior Minister--GOH Chok Tong
Minister Mentor--LEE Kuan Yew
Deputy Prime Minister--Prof. S. JAYAKUMAR
Deputy Prime Minister--Wong Kan Seng

Ministers
Community Development, Youth and Sports--Dr. Vivian BALAKRISHNAN
Defense--TEO Chee Hean
Education--Tharman SHANMUGARATNAM
Environment and Water Resources--Assoc. Prof. YAACOB Ibrahim
Finance--LEE Hsien Loong
Foreign Affairs--George Yong-Boon YEO
Health--KHAW Boon Wan
Home Affairs--WONG Kan Seng
Information, Communications and the Arts--Dr. LEE Boon Yang
Manpower--Dr. NG Eng Hen
Law--Prof. S. JAYAKUMAR
National Development--MAH Bow Tan
Trade and Industry--LIM Hng Kiang
Transport--Raymond Lim Siang Keat

Ambassador to the United Nations--Mr. K V Vanu Gopala MENON
Ambassador to the United States--Prof. CHAN Heng Chee

Singapore maintains an embassy in the United States at 3501 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202/537-3100, fax 202/537-0876).


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Singapore Dollar Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Singapore Dollar Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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