Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles, June 11, 2020 – As the Seychelles Electoral Commission releases provisional dates for the Presidential Elections (namely 22-24 October 2020), political parties are all claiming victory even ahead of the polling day. A post on Social Media, pushed all the boundaries of panic when they gave a figure for a straight win indirectly showing the nervousness, they are themselves feeling.
Danny Faure is fighting for his life in this very first election he is set to be contesting. He is remembered to have entered the National Assembly as a nominated member and took over the Presidency after President James Michel resigned giving him the remainder on his term of office. Rev Wavel Ramkalawan, the Anglican Priest who is no stranger to Presidential Elections will in fact be fighting his 7th attempt for the High Office. He is currently in the National Assembly as a nominated member (a rebate ticket as was described by one Opposition Elected Member). Ramkalawan knows that this is his finale and it is a must win race.
The One Seychelles political party, headed by the successful former tourism Minister Alain St. Ange and Peter Sinon, who is also a former Minister and also an African Development Bank Director has indicated their readiness for the upcoming elections. They are seen as very much the new force and their work in the districts has been noticed by everyone. Coming from nowhere as a political party, they took centre stage of the political landscape through the constant direct and indirect attacks by the Opposition corner as the fear of the newcomers became evident.
Patrick Pillay is also still very much a force, and what he does may well propel or confirm one of the three listed political parties into the second round of the Presidential Elections. Other political parties listed by the Electoral Commission may still also attempt to come forward with their own candidate or endorse one of the three main contenders in this race. Confidential reports floating around, places the US party of Danny Faure with over 30% loss from the James Michel last score. But the LDS of Ramkalawan has also lost ground. Here, many Opposition supporters vying for change are qualifying their remarks saying that they are firmly in the Opposition but will not be voting for Ramkalawan.
The disillusioned or just dissatisfied red voters are being picked up principally by One Seychelles and this came out clearly when door to door assessments were carried out by the party. The sceptical green voters are also either going to the new comers in the Opposition Camp or are still saying they will not vote. Pundits are placing Danny Faure today at 18000 thousand votes and dropping, Ramkalawan at 16000 to 18000 votes and dropping as he shows lack of alternative ideas to redress the economy and being stuck on just objecting or blocking what could often be good for the people who voted for him and this with arrogance and vindictiveness. Alain St. Ange is placed at 14000 plus votes but gaining votes daily. One Seychelles seems to be the only party to be attracting votes.
They cannot be blamed for the existing situation facing the businesses and the difficult situation being felt by the people right across the country – whereas Danny Faure and Wavel Ramkalawan are facing very critical responsibility. Both seem unable to lead in the difficult COVID-19 climate and the flip-flopping by Faure has hurt him badly. Ramkalawan on his side approved the bailout budget without stipulating that this needed to be for Seychellois first to guarantee every local a salary. The arbitrary payments or handouts during the COVID-19 assistance programs are today being seen as unfair, labelling both Faure and Ramkalawan are failures.
Alain St. Ange is seen as the one who could redress tourism in this critical moment. He did it when the private sector moved for a PPP approach in 2009 that saw him lead tourism to success. His expertise as a technician is today being talked about in every corner of the islands.
National Assembly elections are also being rumoured, and this could still happen if President Danny Faure makes the move to dissolve the Assembly. This would seriously disadvantage the opposition parties, vying to replace the US Government of Danny Faure. It would also create internal discord in the sitting MNA camp as is being heard. Early elections will kill the sizeable MNA pension for all who have not served five years in office and this worry echoes today as the possibility is still so real.
National Assembly elections in a three-way fight should be a worry for LDS who had spent the initial years of their mandate attacking St. Ange and so many former SNP players with their ‘Ek Nou, Pa Ek Nou’ strategy and not having kept their words on promises made in their 2016 electoral campaign.
The words once echoed by LDS are here to haunt them in 2020, because Seychellois who casted their votes for the same party in previous elections cannot expect anything different. Doing the same thing over and over again will bring the same results and voters cannot expect anything different. Should Seychelles be finally ready for a real change, One Seychelles will be the serious contender in both the 2020 elections.