With a lot of nations practicing their democratic right towards electing their leader during this period of the pandemic, Seychelles adds itself to the list. Killing two birds with one stone, Seychelles decided to make its presidential elections alongside the parliamentary ones. They are expecting to finish the exercise within a three-day period. The elections took place on the country’s three major islands that are, Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. These three were target points due to the greater percentage of voters residing in these three regions. The voting commenced on Thursday and is expected to be completed by Saturday.
All citizens incorporated in the elections
Although most of the people were on the three islands, voters situated on the outskirts were not left behind. Planes and boats were highly effective as a means for transportation for most of these voters. Employees from hotels as well as the Island Management Authority, on Thursday and Friday, made sure to cast out their votes. Nurses and hospital staff were also present with their voting documents ready.
The presidential race
The incumbent Danny Faure is facing a tough race from the opposition party, led by Anglican priest Wavel Ramkalawan. The other candidate is Alain St Ange from the new, One Seychelles party. Wavel of the opposition party, the Seychelles Democratic Alliance party, poses a greater challenge to Faure. Siting from the recent elections of 2015, Wavel closely lost to James Michel by a difference of 193 votes. This was after a second outstanding election was approved by the election body. He further won 19 out of the 34 parliamentary seats in the same year.
Moreover, Ramkalawan seems to be resilient enough to go for the sixth round of the presidential elections. Faure assumed the presidency after his predecessor, Michel, resigned. Alain was a former member of the opposition party before joining the government under the tourism sector. With his new party, the leader hopes to upgrade his political career as Seychelle’s next president. All the campaigns were online to avoid crowded areas that might hasten the spread of coronavirus.
The economic state of the country
The country’s major source of income and employment to 98,000 citizens has been on the worst receiving end this year. This owes to the coronavirus protective measures that saw the country being under lockdown. With 149 cases recorded, a bigger percentage of this number is from outside the country. As a result, honeymoons, paradise-seekers, and romantic getaway plans have all had to be canceled since the onset of the virus in March.
The unemployment rate has significantly risen to 6.3 percent from the previous 4.3 percent. According to the national statistics agency, 40 percent of its nationals are currently living in poverty due to the high cost of living. Seychelles is one of the countries in Africa with a high average income.
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