News24

Seychelles leader wins presidential race

2011-05-22 19:41

Victoria - The Seychelles' President James Michel was re-elected on Sunday, beating three opposition candidates to win a second term in office, the electoral commission announced.

Michel won 55.4% of the votes, his main rival Wavel Ramkalawan took 41.4% and two other candidates won less than 2% each of the ballot.

The 66-year-old president had voiced confidence of winning the elections conducted over three days across the Indian Ocean archipelago of 115 islands, but Ramkalawan accused the ruling party of vote buying.

Michel came to power in 2004 when he took over from longtime ruler and political mentor France-Albert Rene and was elected to office two years later.

He thanked his supporters and renewed his pledge to press on with reforms to revamp the country's economy battered by the 2008 global economic slump.

"We will celebrate our victory in peace and tolerance," said Michel.

"From Monday it is a new Seychelles which we are going to build together.

"The government of the Seychelles will continue with the economic reforms and strengthen good governance during the next five years," he added.

The incumbent leader had predicted victory, saying he would better his score of 53.4% in the 2006 elections.

He will be sworn in on Tuesday.

Britain's Prince William and his new bride Catherine spent "a memorable and special 10 days" in the Seychelles on honeymoon following their wedding on April 29, a St James's Palace spokesperson confirmed on Saturday.