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M Ravi and Prof Andrew Harding

M Ravi launches constitutional challenge on Elected Presidency Scheme

Human rights lawyer, M Ravi has just filed a constitutional challenge in the High Court against the Elected Presidency Scheme ( "EPS") on Monday morning.

Mr Ravi wrote on his Facebook page that the application is filed in his capacity as an ordinary citizen of Singapore and that the application was served on the Attorney General.

According to the documents posted, the originating summons to Attorney General writes:

"The elements of the Elected Presidency Scheme is incapable of being constructed as being consistent with Article 12 of the Constitution in that it deprives citizens of the right to stand for public office, namely the office of the Elected Presidency.

The elements of the EPS is incapable of being construed of being consistent with Article 12 of the Constitution in the; it is discriminatory on the grounds of ethnicity and is contrary to article 12(2) of the Constitution."

Article 12 of the Singapore Consitution

Mr Ravi announced that he will go on Facebook Live at 3pm, Tuesday to set out the reasons for his application without commenting on the merits as the matter is before the court.

In his Facebook post, Mr Ravi thanked his friend, Professor Andrew Harding who teaches law at NUS for his invaluable insights into the basic structure doctrine and wrote, "This doctrine forms the crux of the application before the court. Prof Andrew Harding is the leading expert in this area."

Just this morning, Deputy Attorney-General Hri Kumar Nair said that the High Court could hear former presidential candidate,Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s legal challenge regarding the upcoming Malay-only presidential election in late June, at the pre-trial conference at the High Court.

Dr Tan had applied to seek the Court's determination on whether the piece of legislation – that counts President Wee Kim Wee as the first Elected Presidency term for the purposes of calling the upcoming election a reserved election – is consistent with Singapore's constitution.

The next presidential election is due to be held in September this year. However, under the recent amendments, a reserved election is set aside by the government for a minority race as no candidate from a particular minority group has been elected as the President after five open elections.