Opposition candidate and Anglican priest Wavel Ramkalawan has won the elections in the island nation of Seychelles, local media reported. He won both presidential as well as parliamentary elections, early reports said.

 

According to provisional figures reported by the local media, Ramkalawan’s party Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) secured 55 per cent of votes, while incumbent Danny Faure trailed with 43 per cent of votes.

Voting took place Thursday and Friday on a few dozen of these outer islands, mainly for employees of hotels or the island management authority. Some on the main islands deemed essential workers, such as hospital and nursing staff, also voted Thursday.

The opposition was narrowly defeated in a presidential election in 2015.

The elections were held in Seychelles as the island nation’s economy was battered by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Indian Ocean archipelago nation is expected to see its tourism-dependent economy contract by 14 per cent this year, according to rating agency Fitch, reversing some fragile progress since the government defaulted on its debt in 2008 and sought an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

The same party has been in power since 1977. Faure, who previously vice president, was elevated to the presidency in 2016 when his predecessor resigned after a constitutional amendment was passed limiting presidents to two terms.

There are about 74,600 voters in Seychelles out of a population of 100,000.