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Constitution of Singapore

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Constitution of the Republic of Singapore is the supreme law of Singapore. It is the only constitution Singapore has had as a sovereign country, and came into effect in 1965. It is largely based on the 1963 Constitution of the state of Singapore, which was when Singapore was part of the country of Malaysia, but also of the constitution of that country.

The constitution sets out the framework for the republic of Singapore, including a President, who is elected every six years, and a Prime Minister. The Prime Minister leads the government and is appointed by the President, but is responsible to the Parliament and must be accepted by it. Singapore's constitution is also based on the Westminster system, which means all ministers must be members of Parliament (MPs). If they, including the Prime Minister, are not elected to Parliament, they cannot remain in their position. The judiciary also has a strong role in the constitution, with judges acting independently of the President, the government and the Parliament. Judges are appointed for a long time, and cannot be removed except for misconduct. The highest court is the Supreme Court of Singapore, which was set up in 1970, five years after the constitution.

Changing the constitution demands a two-thirds majority vote in the Parliament. However, to change the scope and sovereignty of the country, such as becoming a part of Malaysia again, a referendum showing the support of two-thirds of all voters is required. The constitution is changed from time to time, including to create MPs who are not elected in constituencies, i.e. by the voters, but to introduce representation for others who do not get the support of voters. These are called NMPs and NCMPs. In changing the constitution and some other matters, they are not allowed to vote.