Seychelles — Opposition Scores Historic Upset in Elections

  • Ramkalawan, who is the leader of the Seychelles National Party, won with 54.9% of the vote.
  • The ruling United Seychelles party has been in power since 1977.
  • The voter turn-out was high, as at least 75% of the voters turned up.

Seychelles’ opposition leader has won the election, thus becoming the first opposition win in four decades. The country’s electoral commission on Sunday declared Wavel Ramkalawan the winner. He got sufficient votes to enable him to win in the first round. The declaration led to celebrations among jubilant supporters of the politician.

Voters line up to take part in the country’s elections.

Ramkalawan, who is the leader of the Seychelles National Party, won with 54.9% of the vote. The incumbent, Danny Faure, had 43.5 % of the votes. Faure has led the country since 2016, after his predecessor resigned after an amendment on the constitution that limited the terms that presidents serve in the country to two.

The incumbent ran under the country’s renamed ruling party, United Seychelles party. The ruling party has been in power since 1977. The incumbent conceded defeat, and wished the newly elected president all the best. Faure revealed that he will continue living in the country, adding that he will offer any services required of him.

“Mr. Faure and I are very good friends and an election does not mean an end to one’s contribution to ones motherland,” Ramkalawan said after the announcement was made. He added that in an election there are no winners and losers.

The newly elected president will be sworn in on Monday. The country has been praised for holding peaceful elections. The United States said that the elections have proved that the country has indeed become democratic, as it added the country was looking forward to expanding its cooperation on a wide range of mutual interests

This was the Anglican priest’s sixth attempt on the presidency. In 2015, Ramkalawan lost narrowly to the ruling party by only 200 votes. He promised to have a consultative approach in his leadership, as he added that it is important to find a way for the country to forge ahead.

Seychelles’ outgoing president, Danny Faure.

It was reported that the opposition party also won more than a two-third’s majority in the National Assembly. The voter turn-out was high, as at least 75% of the voters turned up. The voting took three days in the country that has a population of 100,000 people, with around 75,000 registered voters.

About 99% of the country’s population put up in three of its islands, namely Praslin, Mahe and La Digue. The country has had two coups, in 1977 and 1981.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the campaigns were mainly done through social media. Bothe Faure and Ramkalawan received support from their supporters. Ramkalawan’s supporters had stated that the leader had, over the years, struggled to fight for justice in the country. They called for the citizens to vote him in so as to bring change.

Social gatherings had been banned in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Since the pandemic broke out, the country has recorded 149 cases of COVID-19. The travel ban necessitated by the virus has greatly impacted the tourism industry, which is a major contributor to the country’s economy.

 

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Juliet Norah

I am a freelance journalist is passionate about news. I derive pleasure in informing people about the happenings in the world

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