RFI

Seychelles: Wavel Ramkalawan elected president, a historic victory for the opposition

The Election Commission confirmed, on Sunday October 25, the election of Wavel Ramkalawan as President of Seychelles. With 54.9% of the vote, Anglican pastor of the Linyion Democratik Party Seselwa defeated incumbent president Danny Faure in the first round. For the first time in more than 40 years, Seychelles has a head of state who is not from the former single party. Seychelles has a new president. After four years leading the Indian Ocean archipelago, Danny Faure, the outgoing president and candidate of United Seychelles, was defeated in a three-day ballot between Thursday 22 and Saturday 24 October The electoral commission confirmed this Sunday, October 25: with 43.5% of the vote, Danny Faure was beaten in the first round by Wavel Ramkalawan, who won him 54.9% of the vote. “I am pleased to announce that Wavel Ramkalawan has won the presidential election and to present him with his certificate,” Electoral Commission chairman Danny Lucas said on Sunday. Alain St Ange, the third man in the race for the presidency, won 1.6% of the vote.The first president who did not come from the former single partyCandidate of Linyon Democratik Seselwa (LDS, Seychellois Democratic Union) , Wavel Ramkalawan, 59, becomes the fifth president in the history of Seychelles. He succeeds Sir James Mancham (a little less than a year in power), France-Albert René (27 years in power), James Michel (12 years in power) and therefore Danny Faure (4 years in power). Above all, the Anglican pastor is the first president not to come from the former single party, and it is the sixth time that Wavel Ramkalawan has run for president. During the last election, in 2015, he was beaten in the second round by James Michel for only 193 votes (50.15% against 49.85%). The latter had resigned in September 2016 after the defeat of his party in the legislative elections and had left his vice-president, Danny Faure, to finish his mandate. “Find out how to reconcile our people to move forward” The outgoing president, beaten, has admitted defeat and wished Wavel Ramkalawan “good luck”. The LDS is the big winner because it also largely won the legislative elections, organized at the same time as the presidential election. The new president’s party won 25 seats, or two-thirds of the parliament. Seychelles is going through a difficult period. The main economic activity of the archipelago, tourism, suffers greatly from the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourists are few and the value of the currency collapses. “It is important to find how we could reconcile our people to move forward,” said the new president, who is expected to be sworn in on Monday. (With hooly News)