The Seychelles will go into a presidential election runoff on Dec. 16 after all the six candidates in the first round failed to secure a 50 percent share of the vote, the chairman of the electoral commission said on Sunday. The Indian Ocean archipelago nation of 115 islands and 93,000 people went to the polls to pick a new president on Dec. 3 in the three-day vote. The incumbent President James Michel, 71, won 47.76 percent of the 62,004 votes that were cast, while his closest challenger, Wavel Ramkalawan, a 54-year old Anglican priest, scored 33.93 percent. “We will have to go into a second round,” said Hendrick Gappy, the chairman of the Seychelles Electoral Commission.
Michel, who touted his economic credentials during the campaigns, said the result showed his Parti Lepep, or People’s Party in Creole, was still dominant. “We got more votes than any other party. We missed by only two percent. We are ready for the second round,” he said.
… Opposition supporters poured into the streets of the capital waving green flags, joining those of Michel who drove vehicles draped with red flags. Both sides viewed the results as favoring them. Voters said new entrants had drawn away support from the country’s two main political blocs, resulting in the need to go to a runoff.
… Patrick Pillay, a former minister in Michel’s cabinet, secured 14.19 percent of the vote. Voter turnout at 87.40 percent was one of the highest seen in the Seychelles.
Full Article: Seychelles presidential race heads into second round.