Letter to the Editor | 04 November 2020
The long struggle to victory
“IT IS FINISHED” – In order that GOD’s purpose in Election might stand.
“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up” – Nelson Mandela
“The harder the battle, the sweeter the VICTORY” – Les Brown
Pursuant to Article 57 of the Constitution of Seychelles, Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan was declared the new elected President of the Republic of Seychelles on Monday October 26, 2020. Hon. Wavel Ramkalawan became the fifth (5th) President of the Republic of Seychelles, but the first elected opposition candidate to the high chair at State House.
The Seychelles' new president, Wavel Ramkalawan, is calling for ‘national unity’ as he becomes the first opposition candidate in 43 years to lead the East African island nation. His Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) party also sealed a majority in the legislature, winning 20 of the 26 seats in the National Assembly.
As the ‘National Unity Advocate (NUA) of Seychelles’, together with the people of Seychelles and the LDS supporters, we congratulate President Wavel Ramkalawan, his Vice-President Ahmed Afif and all the newly elected members of the National Assembly on their historical resounding ‘Victory’ in the General Elections of October, 2020.
After a long and enduring struggle, Seychelles opens a new chapter in our democracy, as History is made in the writings. It has been a long winding road and struggle to VICTORY from thirty (30) long years (from 1990 to October 26, 2020), when Hon. Wavel Ramkalawan sworn in as the fifth President of the Republic of Seychelles.It was his work mission as a priest that led Ramkalawan to politics. Through his pastoral work, he came into contact with many people who had been the subject of repression and abuses of human and civil liberties by government. At that time, the church was the only institution that could speak out on these issues.
It was Mr Ramkalawan's enduring and compelling wish after his sixth attempt to win the elections via the ballot boxes and become president of Seychelles in elections.
From baffling procedural manoeuvres to reforms in the Office of the Electoral Commission of Seychelles and the Election Act over the past years, have put politics of Seychelles back on the front pages. LDS' latest and highest-profile presidential and legislative victory, under the climax of transparent, fair and credible elections – the enactment of a landmark amendment to the Elections Act – came in a long waited and little-opposed votes as compared to previous years. That outcome was not as smooth and sudden as it seemed to many outside the political field. Rather, it was the hard-earned reward for three decades of relentless work by UO, SNP and LDS leaders, members, and supporters in combination with other opposition activists.
We have now entered the ‘New Seychelles’, whereby after 43 years in power, the ruling party has been voted out by the LDS contingent with a 43% Historical loss. It is only through fighting past the tough times — and puzzling through the challenges — that we learn through our struggles. And once we have put the effort in, we appreciate the success we were able to create more than if it was handed to us. The secret is in holding on longer through the years as in “nou pa pou zanmen les tonbe”.
The road to Victory was long and winding before the opposition took power in Seychelles for the first time since 1977, following its landslide victory in the presidential election. The result is a political earthquake in these normally tranquil and tropical islands.
The official results highlighted that Anglican priest Wavel Ramkalawan defeated incumbent President Danny Faure by 54.9% to 43.5%. In his ‘victory speech’, (classified as the historical speech of the Century by his daring and jubilant supporters), Mr Ramkalawan was conciliatory towards Mr Faure, saying there were no losers or winners. It is much a sign of true reconciliation which the 5th President of Seychelles wished that the gesture can be extended to the community and will extend deeper into the villages in our country. Supporters of Hon. Wavel Ramkalawan stormed the streets in celebrating his long struggle to Victory in the capital, Victoria.
A changing economy is to be expected: With the coronavirus pandemic in the midst of the Elections victories, our people are expecting that the newly elected President and his Vice-President, together with his cabinet of ministers, will constitute decisive leadership and actions to re-build our economy and get Seychelles past the Covid-19 pandemic.
Finally, the ‘Office of the National Unity Advocate’ calls on the international community, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of the African States and the regional countries to work together with the incoming elected President, the leaders and people of Seychelles to ensure a peaceful and enduring economy is rebuilt post Covid-19.
Now is the time to act and embrace the opening of a new chapter in our democracy.
Jacob Terence Madeleine
Writer, National Unity Advocate
The views expressed in this letter are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Seychelles NATION newspaper.