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Seychelles President wins third term in office

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JamesMichel-THE President of Seychelles, James Michel has won a third term in power by the narrowest of margins of just 193 votes, with the opposition calling for a recount.

In his reaction, President Michel said, “Today the people made their choice. The people have said that they wish that I continue on the path that I have commenced… for me to continue to lead Seychelles forward in stability, peace, and prosperity. “The election has tested the maturity of our democracy.”

Michel, 71, won 50.15 percent with 31,512 votes in the unprecedented second round run-off on the Indian Ocean archipelago, compared to opposition leader Wavel Ramkalawan’s 49.85 percent with 31,319 votes.

“At this point in time, it is necessary, more than ever, that we continue to create more unity in our country. Today, more than ever, we need to work together as Seychellois, we need to ensure we bring our people together,” Michel added.

However his main challenger, Ramkalawan, 54, an Anglican priest, said there were “several irregularities.” In a report by Seychelles News Agency (SNA), he alleged that there was financial to influence voters.

“We do not accept the results of the elections because we thought we were participating in an election — but it turned out to be an auction,” Ramkalawan said.
He said he had written to the electoral commission asking for a recount, while calling for people to “remain calm and peaceful and to refrain from provocations.”

The country’s Electoral Commission chief Hendrick Gappy had called for all citizens to “respect the results and to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.”

Michel, who won elections in 2004 with 54 percent of the vote and in 2011 with 55 percent, also called for calm. “The president that has been elected is the president of all Seychellois, and we all need to work together for our Seychelles,” Michel said.

The turnout was high, with 87 percent of registered voters casting their ballots in each of the two rounds.

Voting in more remote islands began last Wednesday but the main vote took place last Friday on the main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, home to most of the Seychelles’ estimated 91,000 citizens.


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