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Seychelles’ Ruling Party Loses Favour with Voters

An Anglican priest won the Seychelles presidential election on Sunday, marking the first opposition victory since the Indian Ocean archipelago’s independence from Britain more than four decades ago. Wavel Ramkalawan won enough votes in the first round to clinch the presidency on his sixth attempt and called for unity after his victory. “It is important to find how we can reconcile our people to go forward,” the 59-year-old said as his jubilant supporters began celebrating in the streets of the capital, Victoria. The incumbent, Danny Faure, 58, who was running under the recently renamed United Seychelles party that had been in power since 1977, conceded defeat and wished his successor good luck. Ramkalawan, the leader of the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa, or Seychelles Democratic Alliance, won 54.9% of the vote to Faure’s 43.5% to become the fifth president of the Seychelles. The opposition also won the legislative election that took place from Thursday to Saturday alongside the presidential poll, with Ramkalawan’s party taking 25 seats, or two-thirds of the parliament. The United Seychelles party won 10 seats. The US state department hailed the election as a “another major milestone in Seychelles’s democracy”.